We take food safety seriously and other predictable messages: Noro in PEI edition

The Prince Edward Island (that’s in Canada) still doesn’t think hotel management is at fault for over 160 norovirus illnesses even though they reportedly had a bunch of food handlers sick while preparing food.

I disagree. People showing up to work ill and handling food is a managerial fail.

According to the Guardian, the hotel is really sorry too.unnamed

Staff ill with the Norwalk virus while serving or preparing food were the most likely cause of the recent gastro-intestinal illness striking many guests of a Charlottetown hotel, says the province’s chief public health officer.

However, Dr. Heather Morrison doesn’t think the Delta Prince Edward’s food safety or its handling and cleaning practices are to blame, and doesn’t know of anything the hotel could have done to avoid the outbreak.

The outbreak was associated with three functions at the hotel on Dec. 5.

Illness was reported in 134 guests and 35 hotel staff.

James Tingley, the general manager of Delta Hotels and Resorts, declined to do an interview with The Guardian, but issued a statement noting the hotel immediately contacted the health department following reports of people feeling sick after attending an event at the hotel.

The statement notes hotel hygiene and cleanliness are taken very seriously.

Following the health department’s guidance, the hotel implemented a “comprehensive process to sanitize the hotel’’.

The hotel also posted signs in the lobby and at the entrance to the restaurant to inform guests about the outbreak.

The statement also extends “heartfelt apologies’’ to those that may have gotten sick after visiting the Delta Prince Edward.

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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.