Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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2005 Outbreak of Norovirus Linked to Lettuce, Minnesota

Five groups of people, who ate at a Rochester, Minnesota, restaurant, between March 3 and March 7, reported gastrointestinal illnesses to the Minnesota Department of Health. The groups had eaten at separate events that had been catered by the restaurant. People who had eaten the meals were interviewed to find out what they had eaten and if they had become ill. The analysis of the data showed that consumption of lettuce based salads was associated with illness. Stool samples confirmed the illness was due to Norovirus, which is often found on ready-to-eat items such as lettuce. The catering business was inspected; food workers reported family members with illnesses. Obstructed handwashing sinks were observed, and the catering and salad stations did not have conveniently located handwashing sinks. Contamination of the lettuce was likely due to an infected food worker handling the lettuce with bare hands.

  • Outbreak began:
  • March 2005
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Norovirus
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Vegetable, Lettuce Food Worker
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • No
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Event
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 30
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Unknown
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • N/A
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • Yes

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