Norovirus : Not just a Winter vomiting bug

23 July, 2014
Pat Perry

Norovirus, that debilitating sickness and diarrhoea bug can strike at any time and in any place – even the Commonwealth Games village.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone.  You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

Even the best managed food businesses can be affected by an outbreak, but those food businesses that let standards slip could be more vulnerable.

At a recent EHO visit to a food business, swabs were taken and the following areas were found to have high levels of bacterial contamination:-

  • Walk-in fridge door handle
  • Yellow (cooked meat) chopping board
  • Kitchen doors to restaurant
  • Children’s play equipment

The higher the bacterial contamination, the greater the risk of a Norovirus outbreak.

Simple rules should keep everyone safe:-

  • All food handlers must wash their hands regularly
  • Sanitise all work surfaces, utensils and equipment regularly
  • Sanitise door handles, fridge and freezer door handles, toilet door handles
  • Sanitise children’s play equipment
  • DO NOT handle food or drink if you have sickness and/or diarrhoea
  • Do not come back to work after a stomach upset unless you have been 48 hours symptom free

Remember – you could be feeling better but you could still be infectious.  Good personal hygiene is the key to reducing the spread of the virus.

An outbreak of Norovirus is likely to be investigated by the EHO.  It could damage your reputation.  You might lose your coveted “hygiene rating”.

Have an Emergency Plan in place to help you respond to an outbreak.  You may need professional advice.

PSN are here to help.  Talk to us about our “One Step Ahead” support and advisory package – call Pat Perry or Sandra Moore on 01438 745771 or email at;

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