30 norovirus cases linked to Minnesota Chuck E. Cheese

There’s a Chuck E. Cheese that I drive by with Sam a couple of times a week. Every time we go by he wants to go back: we took him there on his third birthday (on a weekday afternoon) and he went nuts for Skee-Ball and the arcade games.

Running food safety and infection control at a kids arcade-style restaurant is probably nerve-wracking. According to KAAL ABC Chanel 6, a norovirus outbreak is being investigated at a Minnesota Chuck E. Cheese outlet.chuck_e_cheese

The Washington County Public Health Department is investigating a norovirus outbreak at a Woodbury Chuck E. Cheese restaurant that sickened at least 30 last weekend.

The restaurant was scheduled to be closed until 1 p.m. Wednesday while staff cleaned, said Fred Anderson, an epidemiologist for Washington County Public Health. The restaurant was open until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Washington County is still trying to determine how the norovirus got started. Several patrons reported getting sick Saturday. Public Health has interviewed about 60 people and half have reported getting sick.

Washington County Public Health reviewed the reservations made for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and determined about 1,000 people were in the restaurant during that time, Anderson said.

A decent recipe for an outbreak is a bunch of kids, with questionable hygiene, in a place with a lot of stuff to touch, and eat, at the height of norovirus season.




This entry was posted in Norovirus and tagged , , 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.