Tag Archives: Norovirus

Hospitality Industry Risk Management Update: “Reducing the Spread of Contagious Illnesses” (Video)

A supplement to frequent hand washing is to use hand sanitizer.handwashing To encourage use of hand sanitizers by employees and guests, place labeled hand-sanitizer dispensers at the front desk, restaurant areas, back offices, public restrooms, and elevators. Check and refill the dispensers daily.

Winter months bring an increase of cold, influenza, and other communicable illnesses to the workplace. To reduce the spread of germs and cross contamination, housekeeping departments should focus on common contact points.

Sanitize Hard Services. Most hard surfaces, such as doors, drawers, telephone receivers, TV remote controls, light switches, toilet handles, and in-room directories, can be disinfected with a commercial disinfectant cleaner on a daily basis. Returned guestroom keycards should be placed in a separate bin for disinfecting. All guestroom glassware must be thoroughly washed with hot water and detergent—in a dishwasher or three-compartment metal sink—before being placed back into service. Improperly sanitized glassware and utensils can transmit mononucleosis, herpes, E. coli, salmonella, hepatitis A, influenza, and even staph infections. Hotel glassware should never be washed in a guestroom sink.

For more: http://bit.ly/1E0wrBS

And for more on industry best practices, check out the video below from Petra’s own P3 Risk Management Team.

Petra Risk Solutions’ Loss Control Manager, Matt Karp, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘Preventing Norovirus at Your Property’. 

P3 (Petra Plus Process) is the Risk Management Division of Petra Risk Solutions – America ’s largest independent insurance brokerage devoted exclusively to the hospitality marketplace.

For more information on Petra and P3 visit petrarisksolutions.com or call 800.466.8951.

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Filed under Employee Practices, Food Illnesses, Guest Issues, Hotel Employees, Hotel Industry, Hotel Restaurant, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Training

Hospitality Industry Health Update: “Food and Water Quality an Ongoing Challenge for Hotels”

“…While a wide variation of food and water quality practices exists from country to country,water it’s a misconception that safety concerns are limited to poor areas in developing regions. Many germs have no boundaries, so the NSF StaySafer program will play an important role in establishing a universal set of standards that can be used as a benchmark and complement local requirements…”

From the buffet salad bar greens to the ice clinking in drinks served poolside, hotel administrators are finding that protecting guests from food and water illness outbreaks is a continuous challenge.

It’s also a necessary undertaking to demonstrate the hotel’s commitment to its patrons’ well being. Travelers won’t soon forget the awful stomach cramps if they experience a sickness during their stay, and such episodes can cause nearly irreversible damages to a hotel’s reputation.

For more: http://bit.ly/1kVhmFd

For a brief video on some of the steps you can take to help prevent Norovirus outbreak at your hotel, check out the video below:

Petra Risk Solutions’ Loss Control Manager, Matt Karp, offers a P3 Hospitality Risk Report – ‘Preventing Norovirus at Your Property’. 

P3 ( Petra Plus Process) is the Risk Management Division of Petra Risk Solutions – America ’s largest independent insurance brokerage devoted exclusively to the hospitality marketplace.

For more information on Petra and P3 visit petrarisksolutions.com or call 800.466.8951.

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Hospitality Industry Health Risks: The CDC Lists The “Major Pathogens That Cause Foodborne Illness” In 2013

Major Pathogens That Cause FoodBorne Illness-page-001

Major Pathogens That Cause FoodBorne Illness-page-002

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Hospitality Industry Health Risks: “Norovirus Food Poisoning” Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Wyoming Restaurant; Health Department Report Confirms Outbreak Source

“…according to the WDOH, 31 employees who worked at the Golden Corral restaurant were infected with norovirus while working…the lawsuit was filed on behalf of (those who) purchased food or drink at the Golden Norovirus OutbreakCorral Casper restaurant between November 20, 2012 and December 13, 2012 and (were exposed to) diarrhea and vomiting from multiple employees of the Golden Corral…”

Customers of the Casper, Wyoming Golden Corral filed a class action lawsuit against the restaurant Friday, alleging they were part of a norovirus food poisoning outbreak that was traced to food served at the restaurant in December. The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in Wyoming (Case Number 13CV024J) by Jason Ochs of The Ochs Law Firm and William Marler of Marler Clark.

According to a Wyoming Department of Health (WDOH) report, at least 305 patrons of the Casper Golden Corral restaurant became ill with norovirus infections after eating at the restaurant between November 17, 2012 and December 19, 2012. Norovirus infection causes nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting and is highly infectious. Investigators from the Wyoming Department of Health Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program and Casper-Natrona County Health Department stated in their report that they were not able to determine exactly how norovirus was introduced to the restaurant, but said ill food-handlers could have contributed to the spread of norovirus among Golden Corral patrons.

The complaint states that named plaintiff Paul Feyhl, a Casper resident, ate at the Golden Corral restaurant on December 8, 2012 and subsequently fell ill with norovirus. According to court documents, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mr. Feyhl and “others similarly situated” who purchased food or drink at the Golden Corral Casper restaurant between November 20, 2012 and December 13, 2012 and whose exposure to norovirus was caused by:

1.    Exposure from diarrhea and vomiting from multiple employees of the Golden Corral
2.    Consumption of contaminated food and drink prepared by Golden Corral employees
3.    Exposure to, or close proximity with, persons who ate food or drink at the Golden Corral restaurant or were exposed to the restaurant’s infected employees.

For more:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/2/prweb10414517.htm

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Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Restaurant Dishes And Silverware Cleaning And Sanitation Methods “Fall Short Of Eliminating Norovirus” According To Research Study

“Norovirus is the leading cause of epidemic gastroenteritis and the major cause of foodborne illness in the United States…proper sanitation and handling remain the single biggest factor that can prevent cross-norovirus outbreak hotelscontamination of food and dishware at food service establishments…better agents or methods (are needed) to significantly reduce the presence of norovirus…”

Restaurant dishes and silverware may be an overlooked place where people can catch stomach viruses, according to a new study published December 5, 2012 on the PLOS One website.

While the current industry guidelines for cleaning dishware used in public settings are effective at neutralizing bacteria, researchers at The Ohio State University found that they appear to fall short of eliminating norovirus.

Norovirus is the leading cause of epidemic gastroenteritis and the major cause of foodborne illness worldwide, responsible for at least 50% of all gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

For more:  http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0050273#s5

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Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Michigan Restaurant Closes Down After Confirmed “Norovirus” Outbreak Sickens Over 200 Customers

“…customers reported symptoms of vomiting, nausea, cramps, and diarrhea. More than 200 individuals have come forward with symptoms since last week. Nearly all patients recovered within a day, but one individual was hospitalized for dehydration…”

An outbreak of foodborne illness at a Mexican restaurant in Holland, MI was confirmed to be norovirus, the Ottawa County Health Department reported on Tuesday. Officials are no longer seeking any reports of illness on this case. However, Susan Felgner, representative to the health department, noted, “[t]he overwhelming public response was critical…to the investigation.”

The owners of Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant have voluntarily closed its doors and have not announced when it will re-open.

Norovirus is a highly contagious disease transmitted through contaminated food and water or contact with infected surfaces. The virus causes gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach, and leads to symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and fever.

For more:  http://www.healthmap.org/news/norovirus-outbreak-hits-restaurant-michigan-8212

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Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: “Class-Action Lawsuit” Filed Against New York Hotel And Water Park For “Norovirus Outbreak” Stemming From “Contaminated Food And Pool Water”

“…The state Department of Health documented more than 600 cases of norovirus in March 2008, apparently stemming from contaminated food and pool water at the park’s hotel complex…”

“…alleges that Great Escape, and its parent company Six Flags Inc., failed to maintain proper sanitary conditions and didn’t warn guests once the outbreak became known…”

Attorneys representing more than 100 people filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Warren County against the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark over a 2008 norovirus outbreak.

“Here, many people, especially children, suffered brief but violent periods of illness,” said Don Boyajian, one of two attorneys representing those who were infected.

Those infected experienced brief but violent fits of vomiting and diarrhea.

Dozens of people filed lawsuits following the incident. Those claims were consolidated into a single case — the class-action lawsuit, which has been in the works since 2009.

Boyajian did not specify the amount of damages being sought. He said damages would depend on the virus’ impact on each individual.

Attorneys representing Great Escape were not available on Wednesday for comment.

Read more: http://poststar.com/news/local/class-action-lawsuit-filed-against-great-escape-over-norovirus-outbreak/article_997adaa2-4226-11e1-8bea-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1juoN2fka

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