Hawaii norovirus outbreak prompts scrubbing of restaurant
Posted: April 15th, 2011 - 6:49pm
The Hawaiian Department of Health said a Haleiwa restaurant linked to 42 cases of suspected norovirus in an outbreak on the North Shore has been scrubbed and is safe, but other eating establishments and food sources are still being investigated.
State Epidemiologist Sarah Park said the owners of Cholo's Homestyle Mexican II voluntarily shut down the restaurant Tuesday afternoon to do a thorough cleaning and reopened Wednesday.
The restaurant disinfected all surfaces and utensils, under the health inspectors' supervision, and disposed of a lot of food, she said.
The department tallied 42 suspected cases of norovirus as of yesterday afternoon. All of those sickened reported eating at Cholo's.
Following testing, norovirus was positively identified in one.
In addition to investigating the restaurant, where workers also reported being ill, the Health Department had been looking at the possibility that the virus spread through food served Sunday at the Haleiwa Metric Century Ride bicycling event on the North Shore. Some of that food came from Cholo's.
Ride participant Brent Hamasaki, 40, of Kalihi, his son, 15, and father-in-law became sick Monday night.
"The only thing we had in common was we all had the fish taco plate, and we all had the salsa and the chips."