Ham knuckles with staph, oysters with noro fell 94 at French rugby cocktail party

I thought rugby match cocktail parties only happened with cans of Brockman’s beer after the games; I have seen Invictus. It’s the way hockey players do it – especially the girls.

The Institut de Veille Sanitaire in France reports today (thanks Albert) that on Feb. 20, 2010, the Fire and Rescue Service of the Hérault district informed the Regional Health Authorities that symptoms such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting were diagnosed among around 15 people taking part in a rugby match cocktail party.

One person was taken to the local emergency hospital service. … A total of 94 cases and 110 controls were reported among the people taking part in the cocktail party. Two successive epidemic events were identified with distinct symptoms and median incubation periods of 3.5 and 30 hours. The results of the epidemiological, biological and veterinary investigations were in favor of an intoxication of the early cases due to the ingestion of knuckle of ham pieces contaminated by Staphylococcus aureus (OR=3.75; IC=[1.91; 7.35] p=0.001) and an intoxication of late cases due to the ingestion of oyster contaminated by Norovirus (OR=32.22; IC=[7.09 ; 146.34] p<0.001). In this investigation, food and pathogens at the origin of the contamination were identified. This outbreak stresses the importance of respecting hygiene measures in collective catering and defining first management measures as soon as the results of the investigation are known.

Full report only in French, http://www.invs.sante.fr/publications/2010/Tiac/Rapport%20Tiac.pdf