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An Outbreak of Norovirus Infections Among Lunch Customers at a Restaurant, Tampere, Finland, 2015

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Abstract

On January 29, 2015, the city of Tampere environmental health officers were informed of a possible foodborne outbreak among customers who had eaten lunch in restaurant X. Employees of electric companies A and B had a sudden onset of gastrointestinal symptoms. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to identify the vehicle, source, and causative agent of the outbreak. A case was defined as an employee of companies A or B with diarrhea and/or vomiting who ate lunch at Restaurant X on January 26, 2015. All employees of the companies attending the implicated lunch were invited to participate in the cohort study. Environmental investigation was conducted. Twenty-one responders were included in statistical analysis, of which 11 met with the case definition. Of the 15 food items consumed by participants, four food items were associated with gastroenteritis. Of four kitchen staff, three tested positive for norovirus GIP7, the strain was found earlier in the community. No patient samples were obtained. Level of hygiene in the kitchen was inadequate. Infected kitchen staff probably transmitted norovirus by inadequate hygiene practices. No new cases associated with Restaurant X were reported after the hygiene practices were improved.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the kitchen staff for their excellent cooperation and improvements in the restaurant. We also thank the staff of companies A and B for participating in the study. We thank Anina Huhtakangas and Reetta Ylitalo, the City of Tampere’s Environmental Health officers, for helping in hygienic inspections of the kitchen and sampling.

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We have used no funding from private sources.

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Correspondence to Thuan Huu Vo.

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Vo, T.H., Okasha, O., Al-Hello, H. et al. An Outbreak of Norovirus Infections Among Lunch Customers at a Restaurant, Tampere, Finland, 2015. Food Environ Virol 8, 174–179 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12560-016-9236-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12560-016-9236-6

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