December 4, 2016

Two Restaurants Shut Down in Washington for Food Outbreak

Two restaurants have been shut down in Redmond, Washington after a gastrointestinal outbreak sickened at least 12 people. Those patients were from a single party who ate at the vendor locations on October 30, 2016. The outbreak was reported to Public Health - Seattle & King County on November 1, 2016. The two vendors are Mayuri Foods & Video at 2560 152nd Avenue NE, and Mayuri Indian Cuisine at 2115 Bel-Red Road. Both vendors are in Redmond. There is no laboratory confirmation of the pathogen that caused this outbreak, but officials think norovirus is the cause. The food the patrons ate came from both vendors, but the exact food item that caused the illnesses has not been identified, according to the press release. Both vendors are working with Public Health to try to … [Read more...]

Norovirus Strikes Republican National Convention

At least 11 support team members of the California delegation at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland have been stricken with a foodborne illness that appears to be norovirus, according to the Erie County Health Department.  Two of them are pregnant and required hospitalization, according to local news reports. The delegation is staying at the Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio about an hour away from the convention. Those sickened have been asked to stay put to contain the spread of illness. Norovirus is spread through person-to-person contact by consuming contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces where it can survive for up to two weeks. It takes just a small amount of the virus to make someone sick. The amount of virus that fits on the head of … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at Carrabba’s in Lansing, MI Ends 100+ Sick

A norovirus outbreak linked to a Carrabba's restaurant in Lansing, Mich. has ended after sickening more than 100 people, according to the Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD). The outbreak occurred May 7 and May 8, 2016 at the  Carrabba’s on West Saginaw Highway in Lansing. Lab tests have confirmed that the cause of the outbreak was norovirus, but the origin of the contamination was not identified. After learning of reports of illness on May 10th , Carrabba’s closed voluntarily to thoroughly clean and disinfect the restaurant. Norovirus is the most common cause of food poisoning outbreaks in the United States. It is highly contagious causing diarrhea and vomiting that lasts one to two days. “Norovirus and other stomach bugs can survive for days on surfaces such as … [Read more...]

Chipotle in MA Closes Because of Norovirus

A Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Billerica, Massachusetts was closed today because an employee tested positive for norovirus. A spokesman for the restaurant said that four of their employees were feeling sick, so the facility closed for a "full sanitization." The statement from Chipotle added that "no customers' illnesses are connected to this restaurant." They added that any sick employees should not come to work until they are well. Chipotle was the center of five food poisoning outbreaks last year; two were for E. coli, one for Salmonella, and two for norovirus. And the restaurant chain is facing many civil lawsuits filed by outbreak victims, as well as a lawsuit from stockholders, who claim that Chipotle made false and/or misleading statements and violated the Securities … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas

A norovirus outbreak at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, KS has sickened 600 people, according to the Kansas Department of  Health. The outbreak occurred between Friday, January 15 and Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Health department officials are working with the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) to investigate the outbreak. On Friday, January 29, health officials spent time training the staff about food safety, overseeing cleanup and observing food safety practices.  The restaurant later hired a private firm to clean the entire facility with an "EPA-registered disinfectant, which kills norovirus and is safe for food establishments," according to the health department. Spread through person-to-person … [Read more...]

CDC: Norovirus Outbreaks on Cruise Ships Not as Common as they Seem

Norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships are not as common as they seem, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rates of diarrheal illness on cruise ships have actually fallen in recent years, with the exception of 2012 when new or unusual strains of the virus wreaked havoc and made nasty headlines. Between 2008–2014, 172,810 of the 73.5 million people who took cruise ship vacations developed diarrheal illness. Most of them, 92 percent, were sickened by norovirus. Noroviruses are highly contagious and spread easily in in close quarters such as cruise ships,  long-term care facilities and dormitories. They can also survive on surfaces for long periods of time. It takes just a a small amount of norovirus to make someone sick. The amount that … [Read more...]

New Norovirus Strain Discovered in Minnesota

A new strain of norovirus, the bug that causes intestinal illness, has been discovered in Minnesota. That could mean more outbreaks this winter. The new strain, called GII.17 Kawasaki, originated in Asia. The Minnesota Department of Health said that they have investigated more than 20 norovirus outbreaks in that state since the beginning of September 2015. The new strain showed up in sporadic cases earlier this year. But the first outbreak caused by this strain was reported last week. Norovirus is extremely contagious. It is passed from person-to-person by the fecal-oral route through casual contact and through touching common surfaces. It is also spread through food and drink. Most people think this is the "stomach flu", but norovirus is not related to the influenza virus, which … [Read more...]

Study Follows Norovirus from Irrigation Water to Produce

A University of Florida researcher is conducting a two-year study of how norovirus travels through irrigation water and onto produce. Dr. Melissa K. Jones, a research assistant professor with the University of Florida, Gainesville, will lead the team. Highly contagious norovirus is responsible for about 40 percent of all food poisoning outbreaks and the leading cause of diarrheal disease in the U.S. "We're kind of on the leading edge of it," said Jones, who will present her findings during the CPS Produce Research Symposium, June 23 - 24, in Atlanta.  "One of the things we're learning about norovirus is they have a really high presence in the environment.  And we've known for a long time that they are very, very stable and can survive for years in the water and the soil." The … [Read more...]

(Not-So) Fun Facts About Norovirus, The Leading Source of Food Poisoning Outbreaks in America

Two outbreaks this week are a good example of why norovirus is the leading cause of food poisoning outbreaks in the U.S. One was at a Ground Round restaurant in Minnesota, the other was at an elementary school in Indiana. Norovirus is highly contagious virus that affects about 20 million Americans each year. The amount of virus that fits on the head of pin, as few as 18 particles, is enough to make 1,000 people sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has compiled a norovirus fact sheet with the following information. Although it is sometimes called "the cruise ship virus," only about 1 percent of norovirus outbreaks take place on cruise ships. Most, about 65 percent, happen at restaurants and originate from an infected food worker. Symptoms … [Read more...]

In Washington State, Frozen Oysters Recalled for Norovirus

Seoul Trading Inc. has removed frozen South Korean oysters from the marketplace in some counties in Washington state because they may be contaminated with norovirus. The oysters were sold in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. Food establishments and restaurants that received the oysters include H-Mart locations in Federal Way, Lynnwood, and Lakewood; Asian Pacific Market in Kent; Blue Fin Buffet in Seattle; and Lam Seafood in Seattle. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Discard or return to the place of purchase for a refund. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes gastrointestinal upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most people recover within a few days. Norovirus is killed at 140°F, so cooking the oysters to that temperature and holding for at least one … [Read more...]

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