3 staff infected: pizza joint closed because of norovirus

County environmental health officials have ordered the closing of a popular Walnut Creek pizza restaurant after test results confirmed that customers and restaurant staff have norovirus.

Contra Costa County Environmental Health Director Marilyn Underwood said the county ordered California Pizza Kitchen at Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, closed at 5 p.m. Thursday after receiving lab resulting confirming norovirus.

County officials have linked the norovirus to a foodborne illness outbreak connected with salad served Thursday, June 7, at the California Pizza Kitchen at Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek.

County officials went to the restaurant Thursday evening and posted a notice closing the restaurant under the authority of state law. They asked the staff to close the restaurant. The staff quietly asked customers to leave, Underwood said.
The first batch of samples came back Thursday. Of five employees tested, three positive for norovirus, Underwood said. Of two customers tested, both were positive for norovirus.

Underwood said staffers have interviewed 11 people who ate salad at CPK June 7 and subsequently suffered gastrointestinal symptoms.

The county is looking for other people who ate at CPK that day or in subsequent days and may have suffered gastrointestinal symptoms. They are asked to call the Environmental Health Division of Contra Costa Health Services in Concord at (925) 692-2500.

The Environmental Health Division received complaints and visited the restaurant Tuesday. In their inspections and observations, they have suggested several improvements in food handling and hygiene for restaurant workers to make, Underwood said. California Pizza Kitchen staff have been cooperative, Underwood said.