Your Reliable Source

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

A blog by your local public health experts

Return to Blog

Norovirus Suspected at Foley’s on the Green in Tacoma

Communications Specialist Steve Metcalf
by Steve Metcalf04/26/2018 3:17 p.m.
Updated: 01/04/2019

Updated May 1, 3:50 p.m.

Illness reports have decreased in our investigation of suspected norovirus at Foley’s on the Green. We have reports from 38 people who say they got ill after dining at the restaurant and two reports of secondary illness—people who say they got sick from ill customers who dined at the restaurant. In our previous update, we reported 25 cases.

Customers reported they ate a variety of ready-to-eat foods—sandwiches, salads, wraps—and drank a variety of beverages. At this point, no specific food items appear to be the likely source of the outbreak. Food inspectors interviewed several restaurant workers. At least two said they were ill with norovirus-like symptoms between April 21-23; the same time customers reported being ill. Our food inspectors continue to work with restaurant staff on the investigation.

The state’s Paid Sick Leave Law means food workers don’t have to face financial hardship when they take time off from work to care of their health. Learn more about paid sick leave on the Labor and Industries website

Because of the decrease in number of people reporting, this is our last regular update.

If you ate at Foley’s on the Green and became ill, contact the Health Department at food@tpchd.org, online, or call (253) 798-4712. The more people who report this and other foodborne illnesses to us, the better we can understand how they affect our communities.

Learn more about norovirus and how to report food safety concerns at any food establishment.

Updated April 27, 2018 at 3 p.m. 

Foley’s on the Green reopened for business this afternoon around 1:30. We worked with staff to make sure they made the restaurant safe to serve customers before we lifted the closure order. The process includes thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the restaurant, discarding food items that could make customers sick, and other criteria. We closed the restaurant April 26 following reports of people with symptoms consistent with norovirus.

Our investigation into the source of the outbreak continues. As of today, we received reports from 25 people who say they got ill after eating at the restaurant between April 21-23. That’s up from the eight cases we knew of last night. We expect to receive more reports of illness because of our outreach efforts to others who dined at the food establishment.

Customers who ate at Foley’s on the Green and became ill should contact the Health Department at food@tpchd.org, report online, or (253) 798-4712. The more people who report this and other foodborne illnesses to us, the better we can understand how they affect our communities.

Norovirus is usually associated with illnesses aboard cruise ships. Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea can last one to three days. The average person will get the virus five times in their lifetime. Learn more about norovirus and how to protect yourself and your family from it.

Original Post April 26, 2018 

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is working with Foley’s on the Green on a suspected norovirus outbreak. Today, the Health Department closed the food establishment at 7108 Lakewood Drive W., Tacoma, for at least 24 hours or until thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

Customers who ate at Foley’s on the Green and became ill should contact the Health Department at food@tpchd.org, report online, or call (253) 798-4712.

We received reports from eight people who say they got ill after dining at Foley’s on the Green. The reports are from April 23, 24, and 26. We could not determine an illness pattern until the third report, which came today. The reports are from multiple households. We are still confirming the total and gathering information about the cases.

The customers say they got sick after they ate at the food establishment between April 21-23. They experienced symptoms, which include vomiting and diarrhea, 32-44 hours after eating. Their symptoms lasted about a day. The ill customers reported eating a variety of food items. We suspect norovirus to be the pathogen based on the symptoms.

A person who gets norovirus can spread it even after symptoms are gone. Norovirus can live on countertops and other surfaces for two weeks. 

“Because norovirus spreads so easily and is environmentally persistent, it’s important for anyone who gets ill to stay home, especially food workers, until they are well,” said Katie Lott, food program manager. 

Ill employees can return to work at a food establishment 48 hours after they become well.

The state’s new Paid Sick Leave Law means food workers don’t have to face financially hardship when they take time off from work to care of their health. Learn more about paid sick leave on the Labor and Industries website

Facts about norovirus

  • Highly contagious.
  • Causes explosive diarrhea and violent vomiting, often at the same time.
  • Same virus often related to cruise ship outbreaks.

Cleaning for norovirus

Clean vomit or diarrhea accidents immediately.

Step 1. Remove vomit or poop.

  • Pick up the chunks with paper towels or other disposable material.
  • Soak up liquids with absorbent materials. Use kitty litter or dry oatmeal for carpeted areas.
  • Double bag and discard.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner.

Step 2. Sanitize.

  • Disinfect hard surfaces using 1 2/3 cups of household bleach per gallon of water. Allow for 1 minute of contact time.
  • Sanitize all handles and knobs in your house with the bleach solution.
  • Linens (including clothing, towels, napkins): Wash separately in hot water and dry on high.
  • Steam clean carpets using the highest setting for heat.
  • Avoid cross-contamination (use separate sanitation cloths for bathroom and other surfaces).
  • Clean and disinfect all containers used (e.g., buckets).

Handwashing

Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Especially after cleaning, restroom use and before eating.

If you ate at Foley’s on the Green and became ill, contact the Health Department at food@tpchd.org, report online, or call (253) 798-4712.

Learn more about norovirus and sign up for restaurant closures.

Sign up for notifications

If you'd like us to email you every time we publish a new blog post, sign up here for eNotifications. 

  1. Updated: 01/04/2019
  2. Updated: 01/03/2019
  3. Updated: 05/01/2018
  4. Updated: 04/27/2018
Communications Specialist Steve Metcalf

by Steve Metcalf

Steve helps share timely and relevant public health information.

 

We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.