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  7. Noro, Oh No!


Norovirus is widely known for causing outbreaks of illness among large numbers of people.

Noro, oh no!
Norovirus: Education and SOPs are critical to prevention in the industry.


Norovirus is widely known for causing outbreaks of illness among large numbers of people. Since norovirus was first identified in 1968 at a school in Norwalk, Ohio, it has increasingly been traced to restaurants, catered meals, cruise ships, hotels, nursing homes, schools and camps. It is estimated that as many as half of all food-related outbreaks of illness may be caused by norovirus.

The facts:

  • Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S.
  • The number of virus particles that fit on the head of a pin is enough to infect +1,000 people.
  • It is highly contagious and hard to kill. It survives on surfaces and utensils for weeks and can resist many common disinfectants and sanitizers.
  • It spreads easily.
  • Symptoms are severe vomiting and diarrhea, nausea, low-grade fever and chills, headache or muscle aches.

Preventing infection:

  • If you're sick, stay home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid bare hand contact.
  • Prepare food carefully:
    • Rinse fruits and vegetables before serving, cook shellfish thoroughly and discard contaminated food.
  • Clean surfaces and tools thoroughly and routinely:
    • Clean and sanitize food contact surfaces.
    • Focus on prep surfaces and high touch objects (utensil, cookware, etc.).
  • Clean and disinfect non-food contact areas such as restrooms and breakrooms, focusing especially on high touch areas: chairs, door knobs, menus, etc. using an EPA-registered products with claims against norovirus.

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