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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2012 Norovirus at a Restaurant, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

In late May 2012 Minnesota public health officials investigated an outbreak of norovirus at a restaurant located in Mendota Heights (Dakota County), Minnesota. The outbreak was first reported by a chef at the restaurant who said he had received complaints of illness among people who ate at the restaurant following a burial service on May 26. Twenty five gathering attendees were interviewed. Five persons met the case definition. All five cases reported vomiting, four (80%) had diarrhea, two (40%) had cramps and 1 had fever. Attendees of the gathering ate in a separate room from other restaurant patrons and had a buffet catered specifically for them. Consumption of cantaloupe was statistically associated with illness (4 of 4 cases vs. 3 of 12 controls; odds ratio undefined; 95% confidence interval, undefined, p=0.02). Minnesota Department of Health Environmental Health staff visited the restaurant on May 29. The restaurant had an employee illness log; no recent gastrointestinal illnesses were records. Handwashing sinks were well stocked, and employees were observed adequately washing their hands. Gloves were being utilized for food preparation, and there was minimal bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. Investigators concluded this was an outbreak of norovirus associated with a restaurant in Mendota Heights. Consumption of cantaloupe was statistically associated with illness. The source of contamination was not determined. Possible sources included a patron who was ill prior to the event, or an employee of the restaurant who was asymptomatic or denied illness.

  • Outbreak began:
  • May 2012
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Norovirus
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Cantaloupe
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • No
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 5
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 5
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • No

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