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 at a Restaurant in Elba, Minnesota

In February 2012 staff at the Minnesota Department of Health and Winona County Community Services (WCCS) investigated an outbreak of norovirus after receiving a complaint of three persons ill following a meal at a restaurant located in Elba, Minnesota. The ill persons resided in different households and dined at the restaurant on February 24. MDH interviewed the original complainants and WCCS obtained credit card receipts from the restaurant. Twenty nine patrons were interviewed and eight met the case definition. Cases represented five different households. The median incubation period for cases was 34.5 hours (range, 28.5 to 40.5 hours). The median duration of illness was 29 hours (range, 26.5 to 32 hours). One case was hospitalized for a day. Seven stool specimens (from 4 patrons and 3 employees) were submitted to MDH. All tested positive for norovirus GII. All specimens had identical nucleic acid sequences. The ill patrons reported eating a variety of different menu items. In a univariate analysis, fillet of haddock, tossed side salad, and garlic toast were statistically associated with illness. Illness histories and job duty information were obtained from 15 restaurant employees. Seven employees reported having had gastrointestinal illness previous to or on the implicated meal date including 3 employees who worked while ill on the implicated meal date. During the establishment visit, WCCS sanitarians noted bare-hand contact with all foods, including ready-to-eat foods and the manager reported they had not been excluding ill food handlers from work. Investigators concluded that multiple food items were associated with illness and that the source of contamination was one or more infected food workers.

  • Outbreak began:
  • February 2012
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Norovirus
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Unknown
  • 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:
  • 4
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 4
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 1
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • No

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