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Norovirus Outbreak Sickens 75 at MN Football Banquet

The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating a foodborne illness that sickened 75 people who ate at a catered all-you-can-eat banquet for high-school football players Dec. 8 in Brooklyn Park.

The banquet was attended by 273 people at the Edinburgh USA Golf Course clubhouse restaurant, and at least 41 adults and 34 students became ill, according to Jeff Ferguson, football coach at the private Roman Catholic school in Fridley.

“I think it was food poisoning. They got sick over a period of two days,” Ferguson said.

Because of the victims’ symptoms, which included fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting, state health officials suspected the illnesses were caused by norovirus. No hospitalizations were reported.

A spokesperson for the catering company, Lancer Catering of Mendota Heights, MN, told Fox 9 News the company has never had a norovirus outbreak at any of their other locations, and health officials confirmed that no other complaints have been made against them.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral (not a bacterial) infection.

© Food Safety News
  • Dr. Rob Stuart

    It would be of interest to learn how many of the seventy-five patients were actually prescribed antibiotics.

  • Kelly

    My wife just had it here in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. No doubt it’s the Norwalk; seen it many times before…NOT influenza.I’m having a coffee and then it’s going to a bleach water party in the bedroom wiping down as much as I can and then just cross my fingers that the rest of us in the house don’t get it. I will prepare the meals for the next three days.