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Norovirus - Not "Stomach Flu"

How Certified Managers Reduce the Risk

Norovirus continues to be a serious problem within the retail food environment. Too many times, people associate the symptoms of Norovirus to be nothing other than the “24 Hour Stomach Flu”. But the flu is a respiratory illness – it concerns your lungs. The flu is not an illness that concerns your stomach or intestines. The last time you experienced the “24 Hour Stomach Flu” you likely had Norovirus.

This highly contagious and strong virus can put you in bed for a couple of days - and the virus can be shed for several days even AFTER your symptoms have resolved. I frequently tell my clients that while Norovirus is not likely going to kill you, you will wish you were dead for those 24 hours.

In addition, a Norovirus outbreak can have a direct impact on your business. A few years ago, a major restaurant chain experienced back-to-back outbreaks of Norovirus in different parts of the country. I remember reading that the stock value for this company lost several billion dollars in a 6-month period!

There is a growing body of evidence that having Certified Managers that know food safety and the risks of something like Norovirus helps to reduce the chance that your restaurant will become the cause of an outbreak. This article by CDC continues to build into that body of evidence: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/activities/adoption-of-food-code-linked-to-lower-norovirus-outbreaks.html

Don’t let your Certification lapse! If you need to update your Certified Manager status, schedule yourself for a class soon with Mountain West Food Safety!

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