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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2013 Norovirus Associated with Catered Lunch Meeting, St. Paul, Minnesota

A catered lunch meeting held on May 4, 2013 was implicated as the source of an outbreak of norovirus. Minnesota Department of Health staff interviewed 27 lunch attendees. Eleven individuals met the case definition. Stool collected from two cases were positive for norovirus GI at the Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory. The food served at the lunch meeting included a self-serve cold sandwich buffet, potato salad, pasta salad, potato chips, sliced fruit and assorted cookies. All food was prepared by Caterer "X". In univariate analysis, consuming cookies (11 or 11 cases vs. 2 of 6 controls; odds ratio, undefined; p=0.01) was significantly associated with illness. Nineteen catering company employees were interviewed. Four employees were responsible for food preparation and service at the lunch event. No food workers reported any recent illness. No food workers were tested for viral or bacterial pathogens. During the environmental health assessment, City of St. Paul sanitarians observed improper handwashing by food workers, bare-hand contact wit ice, and inaccessible handwashing sinks. It was also observed that the facility did not have an effective system to track employee illness. Investigators concluded that this was a norovirus outbreak associated with a catered lunch meeting held at an event center catered by Caterer X. Cookies served on the buffet were identified as the vehicle of transmission. the source of contamination was not determined.

  • Outbreak began:
  • May 2013
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Norovirus
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Cookies
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • GI
  • Location(s):
  • Catered Lunch
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 11
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 2
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 9
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • No

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