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Biological Health Hazard – Norovirus Outbreak (Public Health Alert): Toledo, Ohio

2017/08/10

Ohio doughnut shop linked to norovirus outbreak; 200-plus ill

A doughnut shop in suburban Toledo, OH, remained closed Thursday as county health inspectors continued an investigation into a norovirus outbreak that has sickened more than 200 people.

Mama C’s Donuts & Coffee on Conant Street in the Toledo suburb of Maumee, OH, voluntarily closed on Tuesday after public health officials informed the owners of illnesses among customers, according to multiple media outlets in the area.

A number of people who ate food from the doughnut shop from Aug. 4 through Aug. 7 became ill with norovirus symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, according to reports by The (Toledo) Blade newspaper and television news stations in the area.

Mama C’s is under the jurisdiction of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, but as of Thursday evening the department had not posted information about the outbreak on its website. However, the department posted an informational graphic about norovirus on its Facebook page Thursday morning.

“Norovirus spreads easily and can cause diarrhea and vomiting. The best way to stop norovirus is proper hand washing, cleaning surfaces, and staying home when sick,” was the only information the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department provided with the info graphic.

The health department tested “specimens” from the restaurant, according to WTOL-TV Channel 11, a CBS affiliate news station in Toledo. Three of the samples were positive for norovirus, WTOL reported. Health Commissioner Eric Zgodvnski said he expects Mama C’s to be closed for at least a few more days.


The CDC reports that norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne disease outbreaks. Of all reported norovirus outbreaks, 70 percent are caused by infected foodservice workers who contaminate food, according to the most recent information from CDC. Public health officials urge foodservice workers to stay off the job for at least 48 hours after norovirus symptoms subside before returning to work.


“I was texted Sunday morning about 2 a.m. or so that there was something going on. Monday morning, we came in and started the investigation and found out that, at this point in time, the investigation is looking to Mama C’s out in Maumee relative to a norovirus outbreak,” Zgodinski told WTOL-TV.

A sign on the door of Mama C’s on Wednesday told customers the shop was closed because it ran out of doughnuts, according to The Blade.

“Health officials said at least 214 cases were reported in Lucas County, and Wood County officials said they are investigating if about a dozen norovirus cases were caused by doughnuts the store provides to businesses there,” The Blade reported Thursday.

Anyone who ate anything from Mama C’s Donuts & Coffee in recent days and developed symptoms of norovirus is asked to contact the health department at 419-213-4264 or 419-213-4161.

Norovirus symptoms usually subside after a couple of days. However, it can lead to severe dehydration and serious, sometimes life-threatening illnesses in the elderly or people with suppressed immune systems, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Toledo-Luca County Health Department list of restaurant inspections shows that Mama C’s Donuts & Coffee was inspected Thursday, but that report was not yet posted Thursday evening. The most recent inspection before that was in April this year, when four non-critical violations were observed, including employee belongings stored on top of food, bulk ingredients not covered, and dough in the walk-in cooler not covered

10 August 2017
Food Safety News

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