Fancy food ain’t safe food: Minnesota edition

Tycoons, a Duluth gastropub inspired by turn of the 20th century millionaire lifestyle, has been fingered in a norovirus outbreak. According to Northlands News Center, an infected food handler or customer (or RTE ingredient -ben) likely spread the virus to diners on December 5.10849902_719581291471357_3442145704847569295_n

The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting a significant foodborne norovirus outbreak at Tycoons restaurant in Duluth that happened at the beginning of December.

Investigators from the health department identified at least 30 people, from multiple groups, who got sick after eating at the restaurant on December 5. 

They say they didn’t interview all the customers who ate at Tycoons that day so there may have been more than 30 victims.

Update: Duluth News Tribune reports that produce prepped by an infected staff member is the likely source.

In this case, someone on the food prep staff at Tycoons was infected and apparently came in contact with the raw vegetables served to customers at the three separate parties, said Brad Nelson, marketing director for the Duluth-based company that owns Tycoons and other eating establishments in town.

The restaurant was never closed and management has since redoubled training and kitchen signage to remind staff to wash their hands before handling any food.

“It comes down to something that simple, that’s the way to prevent it,” Nelson told the News Tribune. “Our chef and staff cooperated with the state’s effort to find out what happened. Now the goal is to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”


This entry was posted in Norovirus by Ben Chapman. Bookmark the permalink.

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.