August 23, 2019

Mankato Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Sick Najwa’s Catering Employee

According to the Mankato Free Press, an ill food service worker or workers was the source of a norovirus outbreak at the Greater Mankato Growth banquet that sickened 30 to 40 people at the Mankato Civic Center on November 13, 2012. The food service provider, Najwa’s Catering, was the source of the outbreak. Public health officials were not able to trace the norovirus source to one particular person.

NorovirusThe Minnesota Department of Health told the food service provider of protocols they need to follow when employees are ill. Norovirus causes gastroenteritis, with symptoms of vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, fever, chills, and muscle aches. The symptoms usually start 24 to 48 hours after exposure.\

The virus is easily transmitted from person to person and through contaminated food and beverages. That’s why it’s important that anyone who works with food stay home while they are sick. In fact, the CDC has produced¬†fact sheets¬†about norovirus specifically for food handlers. It only takes 100 virus particles to make someone sick. People are most contagious while they are sick and during the first three days after recovery.

Food Poisoning Bulletin has covered this issue before. A study conducted by the CDC found that most norovirus outbreaks are caused by infected food handlers. Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in the country. An average of one outbreak is reported every single day in the U.S.

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