Matador customer: E. coli illness 'worst pain you could imagine'

KING 5's Elisa Hahn reports.

A Seattle woman who became ill in the recent E. coli outbreak described it as the "worst pain you could imagine."

33-year-old Annamarie Kirkpatrick said she ate at Matador in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood on August 20. She became ill with severe abdominal pain five days later.

"Probably the worst pain you could imagine," she said. "But just having a doctor tell you we think it's this, we think it's this, having six diagnoses in three days was probably the worst."

Kirkpatrick is one of six people who became ill after eating at the restaurant.

The sign on the door Tuesday said the restaurant was temporarily closed. Health investigators say they are still searching for the source.

The owners released a statement saying, in part, "Matador Ballard is extremely disappointed...We are undergoing a thorough investigation of all vendors to ensure no contaminated products are on premise."

"It's scary to think you go out to a restaurant and order food, and they're supposed to be the healthiest friendliest places, you would think. And you end up contracting an illness," Kirkpatrick said.

Now more cases have turned up. In its latest update, Seattle-King County Public Health said six people became sick after eating there, including a 16-year-old girl who developed acute kidney failure. Her parents filed suit against the restaurant Tuesday. The teen is represented by Marler Clark, food poisoning lawyers in Seattle.

Four others got sick from a strain with the same genetic fingerprint, one from Snohomish county, one from Skagit county, and two from out-of-state. But so far they have no known connection to the restaurant.

So far, the last known meal date connected to the outbreak at Matador is August 22.

Health investigators said there is a chance they may never find what made people sick.

Last year, an E. coli outbreak at Chipotle restaurants sickened more than 50 people in 11 states. Health experts never determined a cause.

Copyright 2016 KING


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