Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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2013 Outbreak of Norovirus Associated with a Church Event, Rochester, Minnesota

In February 2013 Olmsted County (Minnesota) Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health investigated an outbreak of gastroenteritis among attendees of two events held at a church located in Rochester, Minnesota. The first group took part in a youth retreat that involved weekend-long activities at the church and in the homes of host families, and a group dinner held at the church Saturday evening, February 16. The second group was comprised of adults who attended a Saturday evening service at the church followed by a fellowship dinner. Both groups were served the same meal Saturday evening. This meal was prepared in the church kitchen. The groups did not eat together and were served in separate locations within the facility. In total 23 individuals met the case definition. Of these, 16 were part of the youth group dinner and 7 were part of the adult meal. Three ill attendees contacted their healthcare provider. One sought medical attention at a clinic was not hospitalized. Stool samples were submitted by 7 ill attendees. All seven tested positive for norovirus at the Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory. Investigators determined that meals served by host families were not a likely source of illness. Public health officials interviewed 16 church food workers/volunteers. Seven reported recent gastrointestinal illness. Two workers reported illness on February 12 and preparing cheesecake on February 16. Stool samples collected from these two workers were positive for norovirus as were stool samples collected from an additional 3 food workers. Although gloves were used during preparation of the cheesecake, investigators concluded it was the most likely vehicle of transmission based on epidemiologic and environmental health evidence.

  • Outbreak began:
  • February 2013
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • Minnesota
  • Organism(s):
  • Norovirus
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Cheesecake
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Genogroup II
  • Location(s):
  • Church
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 23
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 7
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 16
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • No
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 0
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0
  • Any References:
  • No

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