Royal Hawaiian resort linked to over 100 illnesses

With the mid-season finale of my current favorite television show, Mad Men, less than an hour away, I’m preparing with some wine, happy that I’m not suffering with norovirus like over 100 guests of the Royal Hawaiian. Featured in Season 6 the Royal Hawaiian was the inspiration for one of Don Draper’s magical pitches – the hotel is an experience.

But probably not like barfing and puking.Mad_Men_Hamm_Pare_Waikiki_Beach_Courtesy_AMC*304

According to the Global Dispatch, an norovirus has swept it’s way through the resort.

Royal Hawaiian general manager, Kelly Hoen, apologized for the unpleasant situation, “We at the Royal Hawaiian are very sorry for having many of our guests and several of our associates that have gotten ill with the norovirus.”

Hawaii health officials confirmed norovirus. Hawaii state epidemiologist, Dr. Sarah Park said in an interview with KITV, “It’s a very hearty sort of virus that it can stick around in the environment and be resistant to normal antiseptic kind of sanitation-type solutions. Park went on to say that someone not necessarily contaminated food at the hotel, but since several employees were sickened, kitchen surfaces and dishware likely got contaminated.

Hoen said the hotel has cleaned and sanitized public areas, restrooms, kitchen and guest rooms at the hotel.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.