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Outbreak Revelation: Watch for the Unwashed Surface

Jim Mann's picture

Norovirus Outbreak Report, D.C. Elementary School --- 2007

What I like about this report is that we gain outbreak data, a better understanding of contributing factors and…no one died.

This executive summary for a norovirus outbreak provides some insights for both the critical nature of hand washing but also the importance of hand sanitizing and a reminder to clean thefrequently touched-seldom washed surfaces.

What does this mean to you, perhaps in foodservice? Check your hand hygiene system. When did you last check hand washing compliance? Have you considered the contributing factor of customer illness? Perhaps you could make hand sanitizer available to customers and add ATP rapid detection to monitor surface cleanliness.

This outbreak investigation suggests that non-cleaned computer equipment (i.e., keyboard and mouse) and person-to-person contact resulted in illness. To decrease disease transmission, operators and public health officials should emphasize good handwashing practices, exclusion of ill persons as much as reasonably possible, and thorough environmental cleaning, including surfaces that are shared but not commonly cleaned.

Click here to see the full CDC report.

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