California Pizza Kitchen Closes After Norovirus Outbreak Confirmed

By: Ja'Mein Beale - Fri, 15 Jun 2012 15:46:08 -0800

WALNUT CREEK (BCN)--A California Pizza Kitchen restaurant in Walnut Creek has  temporarily shut down after a norovirus outbreak made more than a dozen  diners there sick, a Contra Costa County health department official said Friday.
     
County health officials shut down the restaurant in Walnut Creek's  Broadway Plaza shopping center around 4:30 p.m. Thursday after confirming  that norovirus sickened diners there on June 7, health department director  Marilyn Underwood said.
     
Underwood said the health department traced the outbreak to the  restaurant after receiving complaints from local residents and learning that  about 20 people, many who ate there during graduation celebrations, had  experienced gastrointestinal illness afterward.
     
Test results Thursday confirmed that "several employees and  patrons who got sick did have norovirus," a highly contagious  gastrointestinal illness that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain,  headaches and sometimes fever for two to three days, Underwood said.
     
She said health department inspections of the restaurant over the  past week revealed "some things that made us concerned while we were there  and raised it to the manager's attention."
     
Health department officials plan to address those concerns,  including ensuring workers' proper hygiene and thorough sanitizing of  surfaces, during a meeting with restaurant staff Saturday.
     
Rudy Sugueti, California Pizza Kitchen's regional vice president  of operations, said in a statement that the company is "cooperating fully  with the health department" and is conducting an internal investigation  regarding the outbreak.
     
If all goes well, the restaurant will likely reopen this weekend,  Underwood said.
     
Anyone who has eaten at the restaurant recently and got sick is  asked to contact the county health department at (925) 692-2500.
     
Underwood said those who experience norovirus symptoms should stay  hydrated and thoroughly clean all surfaces and linens they have come in  contact with while sick to avoid spreading the illness.
 
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