Vancouver restaurant reopens after norovirus outbreak

“[Our] focus throughout this process has been the health and safety of our guests and staff.” So says Scott Frank, owner of Craft Beer Market in Vancouver after being linked to illnesses in 6 patrons.

A standard statement that food businesses release during an outbreak investigation.

Easy to say, hard to do.

Craft-Beer-Market-Vancouver0inside-620x348Allowing a staff member to work while ill with gastrointestinal symptoms (even though they were feeling better) isn’t walking the walk.

According to Yahoo News, the restaurant has now reopened after a meeting with health authorities.

Craft, located at West 1st Avenue at Salt Street, was issued with a temporary closure notice immediately, to allow for cleaning and sanitizing the whole establishment and discarding any potentially contaminated food.

In a press release issued on Thursday, owner and operator Scott Frank said the restaurant reopened at 11 a.m. PT, after meeting with Vancouver Coastal Health Thursday morning and being fully cleared to reopen.

“CRAFT Beer Market has worked diligently with VCH to ensure all necessary steps have been made to ensure our guest safety,” said Frank.

According to the company, one staff member was sent home on Sunday after falling ill, while the other felt sick before work on Tuesday, but improved during the day (and continued to work? -ben).

After being served with the closure notice, Frank said, the restaurant used a bleach and water mix to clean all surfaces, including floors, walls and chairs. All plates, glasses and cutlery were also cleaned.

Vancouver Coastal Health recommends anyone handling food and experiencing stomach illness with vomiting and/or diarrhea should not return to work until they have been symptom free for three days.

Sorta different from a morning of feeling better.

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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.