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Most Norovirus Outbreaks Caused by Food Workers, Says CDC

June 6, 2014 — Every year, 20 million Americans are infected with norovirus. Although norovirus is typically thought of as a “cruise ship bug,” only about 1% of outbreaks occur on cruise ships. Instead, most norovirus outbreaks involve food poisoning, and food-service workers are responsible for 70% of outbreaks.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a Vital Signs Report with alarming statistics on norovirus food poisoning outbreaks.

The CDC found that 54% occurred when infected food-service workers touched ready-to-eat foods (for example, preparing a sandwich) without wearing gloves. Alarmingly, only 25% of food workers wash their hands when they should, and some of them work while sick:

“1 in 5 food service workers have reported working while sick with vomiting and diarrhea. Fear of job loss and leaving coworkers short staffed were significant factors in their decision.”

Conclusions were based on an analysis of over 1,000 norovirus outbreaks from 2009-2012. Contaminated food was responsible for 520 outbreaks. About 1 in 5 outbreaks were linked to green, leafy vegetables. Contaminated poultry was responsible for more hospitalizations than any other source.

Norovirus is a highly-contagious disease that typically causes a 24-hour bout of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The feces and vomit of an infected person can easily spread the disease to other people, especially if they do not properly wash their hands. As few as 18 particles of this microscopic organism can make a person sick. Although most healthy adults recover without serious complications, infection can be deadly for children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems.

Do I have a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting food poisoning induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by norovirus, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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