Norovirus suspected after 41 mourners at funeral get sick

Getting sick and dying while eating food in a hospital sorta sucks. So does going to a funeral and picking up norovirus.

New Zealand health authorities are investigating an outbreak of suspected norovirus linked to food after more than 40 people fell ill following an April 28 funeral and reception for a leading Auckland musician.

A spokeswoman for the Auckland Regional Public Health Service said yesterday that it was notified on May 3 that some people who had attended the function had become sick with gastro-intestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

The public health service spokeswoman said the food supplied at the post-funeral function, which included sandwiches and deli items, was suspected to be the source of the infection.

The caterer, who did not wish to be named, said she supplied around three funerals a week.

She said food poisoning had not been established yet in the case of the funeral, and the woman who made the sandwiches that day has a certificate in food handling.

"Everything was bought fresh on the day."

Fresh does not mean safe.