(CTN News) – Following a dollar-burrito event held on campus, a number of students at Northwestern University have fallen ill with norovirus, prompting an investigation by the Evanston Health and Human Services Department.
The department responded to complaints from students who experienced symptoms such as stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea after attending the event at Big Wig Tacos & Burritos last Saturday.
In response, the department conducted a thorough inspection of the restaurant, reviewed its employee health policy, and assessed its cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
Big Wig Tacos & Burritos has fully cooperated with the investigation, ensuring transparency throughout the process.
The health department stated that Norovirus is a virus that can easily spread and affect individuals of any age group. Its symptoms comprise of stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, which usually appear within 12 to 48 hours of exposure.
According to the health department, these symptoms usually subside within a span of one to three days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), norovirus can be transmitted through direct contact, consumption of contaminated food or beverages, and touching surfaces or objects that are contaminated with the virus.
To prevent contracting norovirus, it is important to regularly and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water.
The CDC reports that approximately 48 million individuals in the United States experience foodborne illnesses each year, with 128,000 requiring hospitalization and 3,000 resulting in death.
In the years spanning from 2015 to 2018, Chipotle, a renowned Mexican fast-food chain, faced the consequences of their actions as they were penalized with a staggering $25 million for causing the illness of over 1,100 customers across the United States due to norovirus contamination.
This substantial fine stands as the highest ever imposed in the country for a food safety violation.