Olmsted County Public Health Services is aware of increased illness in the community and is following up on reports of illnesses that are associated with eating at Terza and Wild Bills in Rochester. The symptoms of the illness complaints are consistent with Norovirus, the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in Minnesota.
Public Health staff is working with both restaurants’ management and their staff to identify potential sources and ensure safe food-handling practices. Management at both establishments have been very responsive and proactive, and have reinforced existing policies and instituted additional measures:
- Conducting a thorough cleaning and disinfection of all food and beverage equipment, prep stations, ice bins, and surfaces in the building,
- Excluding any ill food workers from work for 72 hours after recovery from symptoms,
- Discarding all open, ready-to-eat foods and unpackaged foods that would not be cooked prior to service, and
- Implementing a “no bare hand contact” policy by using gloves
Symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea accompanied by abdominal cramps. Some people also complain of headache, fever/chills, and muscle aches. Symptoms usually begin 24 to 48 hours after ingestion of the virus, and last 1 or 2 days. However, during that brief period, people can feel very ill. Other than drinking liquids to prevent dehydration, there is no specific treatment for norovirus infection.