Norovirus reported in Rochester

Olmsted Public Health

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Olmsted County Public Health Services is looking into reports of illness connected to eating at two Rochester restaurants.

The symptoms of the sickness linked to Terza and Wild Bills are apparently consistent with Norovirus, which is the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in Minnesota.  Norovirus is present in the excrement and vomit of infected people and is passed by person-to-person contact or by contaminated food or drink prepared by an infected person.  It produces nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, fever and muscle aches.

Public health staff is working with both restaurants to identify possible sources of contamination and to ensure safe food-handling.  Olmsted County Public Health Services says the management at Terza and Will Bills have been “very responsive and proactive” and instituted the following extra precautions:

  • A thorough cleaning and disinfection of all food and beverage equipment, prep stations, ice bins, and surfaces in their buildings.
  • Excluding any ill food worker from work for 72 hours after recovering from symptoms.
  • Getting rid of all open, ready-to-eat foods and unpackaged foods that would not be cooked prior to service.
  • Instituting a “no bare hands contact” policy by using gloves.

Officials say Norovirus cases tend to spike in the late fall and remind residents to wash their hands frequently, clean and disinfect surfaces with bleach after vomiting or diarrhea accidents and wash or peel fruits and vegetables before eating them.

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