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Food workers may be to blame for spreading norovirus

Food Workers Might Be To Blame For Spreading Norovirus

When you get sick after eating a meal, it's easy to blame the food. But maybe you're pointing a finger in the wrong direction. HLN reports: "According to the CDC, about 20 million Americans get the norovirus every year. And it says that food workers are most likely to blame for spreading it."

The norovirus is extremely contagious and is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach aches. The virus is often called food poisoning or the stomach flu.

It recently made news when a Caribbean Princess cruise was cut short in January after more than 160 passengers reported they were sick. The Washington Times says health officials determined the illness was norovirus.

Workers sometimes come to work sick, unintentionally spreading the virus. And WOWT reports passengers who are then infected might not get the medical attention they expect.

"Many people believe they are boarding a floating hospital, but a cruise ship is more like a floating hotel with a doctor at hand."

And we can all agree that getting sick while you're trying to relax on a vacation is not the kind of trip you were looking forward to.

But there are ways to stay healthy, and you can probably guess the most obvious tip is to ... yup, wash your hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more common-sense tips for avoiding this illness. Although they're helpful for anyone, on a cruise many of these would apply to employees:
  • Wash produce and cook meat thoroughly
  • Don't make food for others when you're ill
  • Clean off dirty surfaces
  • Wash laundry thoroughly
But if you do contract the virus, you do have medical rights as a passenger. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, you have "the right to have emergency medical attention as needed until shoreside medical care becomes available."

So keep those prevention tips in your back pocket... and maybe print off your rights and put them in there too.

Join the discussion

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PETER June 04 2014 at 8:42 AM

The food workers should be required to use ZYLAST to clean their hands. ZYLAST is different because it has 6 hour staying power in killing germs includining noroviris.

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coopdabomb June 04 2014 at 6:14 AM

obama is the black plague of this decade

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9 replies
JOEM June 04 2014 at 8:05 AM


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3 replies
JTalltrees1 June 04 2014 at 8:32 AM

I believe it you should take a good look at the kinds of workers they hire at the small wage they pay!I'd think twice before eating out!!

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1 reply
songdragon99 JTalltrees1 June 04 2014 at 11:23 AM

The thing is, though, that there are people who look all American well off people who don't wash their hands. People like that are everywhere and in every social circle.

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1 reply
vafilec_39 songdragon99 June 04 2014 at 1:07 PM

Cleanliness is learned through parents. If your parents expected it......you learned it. Lets see.....a KFC cook (man), went to bathroom. My grandson also went to bathroom. Watched KFC cook, go to the men's stand up stall, urinate, and walk out the door, just so he could continue cooking without clean hands. Owner was told, and grandson's group walked out the door. This happens a lot more than you think....Like people handling money and then your food without gloves or washing. Waitresses scratching scalp, handling dirty dishes, your tip, and never once washing her hands. Wonder what goes on in the kitchen during your food's prep time.

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BoniLu June 04 2014 at 10:18 AM

I have noticed repeatedly that too many people leave a public rest room without washing their hands! Then they continue food shopping, and handle the cans, packages, produce, etc. I just wnat to approach them, and tell them off!

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seethelight2016 June 04 2014 at 11:39 AM

Also, make sure they don't spit in the food.. years ago a neighbor said first thing he did @ a pizza shop was pee in the pickle jar, then spit in the dough.. he was SERIOUS..

I used to get a few things for an elderly neighbor from Long John Silvers.. the lady got violently ill.. at first we didn't put 2 + 2 together.. she liked fish so much & wanted more.. ok, once more, this time she was hospitalized..

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3 replies
Rich Johnson June 04 2014 at 8:10 AM

Since there are 20,000,000 cases of norovirus each year and about 1,000 cases on a cruise ship why do we not hear about the other 19,999,000 cases? Is someone trying to give the cruising business a black eye?

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1 reply
vafilec_39 Rich Johnson June 04 2014 at 1:28 PM

Think they have more than one black eye. On cruise ships you can't choose a restaurant. You eat what they have. On shore, there is a choice and usually one that has not had a bad story printed about what they served. People that work with the Public should have a boss that watches them and knows when they are sick, or not washing hands after a sneeze or etc, hoping that they did cover their mouth and not let it be expanded to what food they serve. If they are sick and work, they should be fined their entire check.

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sherrillvaughn June 04 2014 at 11:39 AM

The largest virus, today, is still the HIV-AIDS. You know the virus that homosexuals use to murder people everyday. And, yes homosexuals, there is no "denying" that you caused HIV-AIDS. Even the CDC called it the "Gay Man's" disease. HIV-AIDS has murdered more people than any and all shootings involving a "legally" owned gun. But, we can't talk about the "gay man's" disease, because the LBADASS, or whatever initials they use, will ban us from the discussion.

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2 replies
Madeline sherrillvaughn June 04 2014 at 1:06 PM

AIDS is a plague, no doubt about it. Sadly, the bahaviors that drive it aren't going to go away, world wide. The best you can do is avoid potentially deadly behavior yourself. Something else to check out is how you would get a blood transfusion, if you needed one. In 1984 my poor daughter apparently contracted Hepatiitis C from contaminated blood. I have no idea what the medical field is doing today to prevent people from getting blood borne diseases from transfusions. Would be worth checking out.

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Carole Ann sherrillvaughn June 04 2014 at 1:47 PM

Your stupidity astounds me. Why don't you look up where AIDS really came from.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Madeline June 04 2014 at 1:40 PM

Talking about diseases and possible ways to get rid of them. If only someone could come up with a cure for my getting hit with the Kardashians every time I go into AOL. It's really scary. I can't throw a vase through the computer screen because I'd have to fork over for a new one, and I'd rather buy perfume. Oh, my decisions, decisions.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
jackie June 04 2014 at 11:25 AM

Hospitals should be checking on 'SCRUBS'. Everyone who works in hospitals, nursing homes,doctors offices, dental offices wears scrubs:

To work, to church to shop, to sleep in, to drop the kids off anywhere. Scrubs are the dirtiest item in hospitals, they are worn sometimes to go to another job , therefore passing along the germs from other facilites.

Hospitals should go back to the old ways, supply the uniforms, install dressing rooms and collect the dirty scrubs at end of shift to go to the hospital laundry.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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