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Canada Over 100 ill after suspected norovirus outbreak linked to local shawarma chain

20:10  20 december  2019
20:10  20 december  2019 Source:   calgaryherald.com

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a close up of a slice of pizza on a paper plate: A beef and chicken wrap at Jerusalem Shawarma © Jim Wells A beef and chicken wrap at Jerusalem Shawarma

A chain of Calgary shawarma restaurants are linked to a suspected norovirus outbreak that left 123 people ill, according to Alberta Health Services.

Four Jerusalem Shawarma locations are connected with the outbreak of norovirus, AHS said. Norovirus is a highly contagious but non-serious virus that can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and lasts up to three days.

AHS first received a complaint related to the restaurant on Dec. 6. They later received reports from 17 additional groups who had eaten food from the location between Dec. 4 and 14.

“AHS public health inspectors completed a total of 27 inspections between Dec. 7 and 18 that included all Jerusalem Shawarma locations,” read a statement from AHS. “No closure orders were issued as a result of these inspections, as it was determined that norovirus was the likely cause of the outbreak.”

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Inspectors discarded some foods of concern at the restaurant. According to inspection reports, they also found that food handlers were “not washing hands frequently and/or in a proper manner.” AHS says inspectors ensured the chain improve their handwashing practices and more frequently disinfect food preparation surfaces and equipment.

“AHS continues to work with these restaurant locations to ensure that there is no further risk,” the health authority said.

They add that the best way to avoid spreading illness is to frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water and to avoid preparing foods for others while you have any kind of stomach bug.

The four locations that are connected with the norovirus outbreak are:

  • 722 85 Street SW
  • 8650 112 Ave NW
  • 5255 Richmond Rd SW
  • 301 16 Ave NW

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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