Overland Park Norovirus mecca

After more than 600 people were stricken by Norovirus at a suburban Kansas City dinner theatre, two separate Buffalo Wild Wings have been cited for lousy food safety.

buffalo.wild.wingsAt least 10 people who ate at the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar at 105th Street on Jan. 29 fell ill, including students from the Shawnee Mission School District.

By mid-Feb., a separate Buffalo Wild Wings in Overland Park was inspected. Among the findings: dead flies in several of the liquor bottles and employees not washing their hands after touching raw chicken. The inspector also noticed employees remove frozen raw boneless chicken wings with gloves, drop them in the fryer, take the gloves off and put new ones on without washing their hands. The company says they addressed and corrected those violations during the inspection.

10 sick and yes, we know you take food safety very seriously: Another outbreak in richie rich part of Kansas

Health officials said Tuesday they are investigating reports of a gastrointestinal illness that has sickened at least 10 people who visited the Buffalo Wild Wings grill and bar at 7030 W. 105th St. in Overland Park last week.

buffalo.wild.wingsThe cause and source of the illness haven’t been determined, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment said. Health officials are awaiting results of laboratory tests that may identify the illness.

The health department began receiving reports Friday from people who became ill beginning Thursday. Students from the Shawnee Mission School District were among the people who reported illness.

Reported symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea, “symptoms that can be attributed to a lot of things,” said health department spokeswoman Barbara Mitchell.

The Johnson County health department is working on the investigation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the city of Overland Park.

In response to the illnesses, the Agriculture Department inspected the restaurant Saturday and found 17 code violations. Among them: An employee was observed wiping his nose with the back of a gloved hand and then returning to the work area without washing his hands or changing gloves. Several bottles of liquor in the bar area contained small dead insects. Cooking utensils contained dried bits of cabbage, onion and other food debris. Boxed dinner napkins were stored on the floor of an employee restroom.

“We take food safety very seriously, and following a report Saturday of potential illness by the health department, we decided to close the Overland Park restaurant to allow for a third-party vendor to conduct a thorough cleaning,” a spokeswoman for the Buffalo Wild Wings corporate office said in a statement.