According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 250 different types of foodborne illnesses. Yet, norovirus is among the most common. In fact, norovirus is responsible for over 50 percent of foodborne illnesses in the United States. And looking at foodborne outbreaks over the last few years, foodservice establishments were the main source of these outbreaks, which are often related to an infected employee practicing poor personal hygiene and subsequently handling food. So what can you do to help ensure your restaurant doesn’t fall victim to a norovirus outbreak?
A strong food safety program that takes norovirus into consideration is critical. In the recent bulletin, “The Importance of Norovirus: Why You Should Have a Good Food Safety Program,” I along with Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus and Dr. Elizabeth Bradshaw, both from North Carolina State University, take a closer look at norovirus and the preventive measures, including hand hygiene and surface sanitization, a restaurant can take to help reduce the spread of this foodborne illness.