Rochester, MN KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County Public Health Services has issued an advisory that indicates it is aware of a jump in gastrointestinal illness in the community that is consistent with a norovirus infection.

The department also indicated it is following up on reports of illnesses associated with eating at the Terza and Wild Bill’s restaurants in Rochester. Public Health staff is working with the management and staff of both restaurants to identify potential sources and ensure safe food handling practices. Officials say 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

Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks in Minnesota. Officials have not said how many people have reported becoming ill. The symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea accompanied by abdominal cramps. Some people also complain of headache, fever/chills, and muscle aches. The usually appear within a day or two after ingestion of the virus and usually last one or two days.

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