ty. No additional ill or well customers
outside the dining party were identified
because customer contact information
was not retained by the FSE. Therefore,
definitive epidemiological studies could
not be performed.
Stool specimens were collected from
four out of the eight dining party members who reported illness. TNDOH
could not obtain stool from the ill
food handler. All stool specimens were
positive for norovirus GII. 2. Of the 24
swabs collected at the restaurant, two
were positive for norovirus GII. 2, the
same genotype the ill customers had.
Importantly, both positive samples were
recovered from the same toilet area used
by the ill chef who reported having diarrhea while working. All samples recovered from the restroom used exclusively
by the dining party were negative.
An environmental assessment revealed that reporting and exclusion policies for ill workers needed to be revised.
While the restaurant had an ill-worker
reporting policy, employees were not
well-trained and were not following the
policy. Results of the assessment were
communicated to the restaurant, which
facilitated better understanding of the
importance of training and communication of these food worker policies. Furthermore, environmental sample results
directed more intensive cleaning and
disinfection of contaminated areas.
Environmental testing for norovirus
is a valuable tool to support epidemiological and/or environmental data
while providing investigators with an
improved understanding of how and
why the outbreak occurred. In addition,
the environmental sampling results have
helped focus remediation efforts by the
restaurant. Management was informed
of specific areas most likely contaminated so that more aggressive disinfection methods could be deployed. These
control measures would not have been
recognized and emphasized without the
evidence provided from environmental
sampling. Adding environmental testing
for norovirus to the public health toolbox enhances the ability to understand
and respond to outbreaks.
Cracking the Case: Listeria monocytogenes in New York
Listeria monocytogenes is one of the leading causes of fatal foodborne infections in
the United States among patients with laboratory-confirmed infections.
outbreaks of Listeria infections in the 1990s were primarily linked to deli meats and
hot dogs. Today, Listeria outbreaks are often linked to dairy products and produce.
Compared with other common foodborne pathogens, L. monocytogenes has a longer
incubation period—typically between 14 and 21 days but can be as long as 70 days.
The relatively long incubation period of L. monocytogenes makes it difficult to identify the implicated food item that caused the illness. To improve the identification
Food Safety Code requires frequent testing of
the sanitizer solutions used in 3-compartment
sink rinse basins and for wiping food contact
surfaces. Hydrion® provides a quick, simple and
reliable way to meet testing requirements.
Hydrion® pH and sanitizer test kits since 1934
One Simple Step to Better Food Safety
Use Hydrion Test Kits
• Avoid Health Code Violations
• Protect your customers
• Insure compliance