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 Outbreak of Norovirus Associated with a Restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota

In January 2012 staff at the Minnesota Department of Health, the Hennepin County Human Services and public Health Department (HSPHD) and the Minneapolis Division of Environmental Health investigated an outbreak of norovirus that occurred among a group of co-workers who shared a restaurant meal on January 20. There were no other shared meals identified. Sixteen people were interviewed. Eight people met the case definition. The median incubation period was 38 hours (range, 22 to 72 hours). The median duration of illness was 26 hours (range, 3 to 33 hours) for the 7 individuals who had recovered at the time of interview. A stool specimen collected from one person tested positive for norovirus GII. Cases reported eating a variety of foods including types of hoagie sandwiches with various toppings: tomato, onion, lettuce, mayonnaise and dressing. While no topping was found to be statistically associated with illness, tomatoes approached significance (5 of 8 cases vs. 1 of 8 controls; odds ratio 11.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 147.6; p=0.06). Illness histories and job duty information were obtained from 32 restaurant employees. One employee reported having an episode of vomiting late in their shift on the implicated meal date. the employee left work after the episode with ongoing vomiting and diarrhea. The employee had a child in the home who had been ill with gastrointestinal symptoms in the days prior. While at work on January 20, the employee had prepared hoagies and topped them with fresh vegetables after baking. A stool specimen from the employee tested positive for norovirus GII. Nucleic acid sequencing was conducted on the patron and the employee specimens. The sequences were identical. MDEH sanitarians noted one critical violation when conducting an inspection at the restaurant. Food workers were observed having bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. Salads, hoagies, and hoagie toppings were handled with bare hands. Investigators concluded that the outbreak was caused by an ill food worker.

  • Outbreak began:
  • January 2012
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Norovirus
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Ill food worker
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • GII
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 8
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 1
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 7
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • No

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