Late last month, Thunder Bay health officials investigated suspected foodborne illness among patrons of the Bento Sushi bar located within the Real Canadian Superstore at 971 Carrick Street, Thunder Bay on March 28, 2016.

Sushi public domain image/Luke via wikimedia commons
Sushi public domain image/Luke via wikimedia commons

At least four people were sickened and presented symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and weakness after consuming sushi at the establishment.

On Tuesday, health officials concluded their investigation into the incident and noted that ” With good cooperation from the food premises operator and the public, we have determined that the illnesses reported were NOT acquired from Bento Sushi.”

Neither food nor stool samples tested positive for any common bacterial causes of foodborne illness. However, stool samples submitted as the part of the investigation tested positive for norovirus. While norovirus can be spread through food, the incubation period in this case rules out Bento Sushi as the source of the illness.

Norovirus is extremely infectious. Norovirus is frequently transmitted via food, but is most commonly acquired from another person or by touching contaminated surfaces and then ingesting the virus. To prevent norovirus infection:

  1. Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the toilet and before you eat or prepare food.
  2. Clean and disinfect surfaces with a bleach-based cleaner.
  3. When you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, do not prepare food for others. Wait 2 or 3 days after you recover.
  4. Rinse fruits and vegetables before eating.