23 sickened in Norovirus Outbreak linked to Habit Burger Grill in Washington State


As of June 3, 2021, the Seattle King County Department of Health reports 23 Norovirus cases linked to the Habit Burger Grill at 1253 North 205th Street in Shoreline, Washington.

Following 6 unrelated meal parties at the Habit Burger Grill, from May 21-May 24, 2021, 23 people became ill with symptoms of Norovirus infection. These symptoms included, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and chills.

When local health investigators visited the restaurant on May 25, 2021, they found no risk factors that are known to contribute to a Norovirus outbreak. In addition, no ill employees had been reported. After a thorough inspection, the Habit Burger Grill was asked to conduct a mandatory cleaning and disinfection of the restaurant.

Upon a follow up visit on May 28, investigators provided an onsite food safety and employee illness training with staff. They emphasized the need for regular cleaning, disinfection, hand-washing, and no bare hand contact with ready to eat foods. To ensure that the restaurant follows this protocol, investigators will revisit this location within two weeks.

No laboratory testing will be offered to people who became ill. Victims of a Norovirus outbreak usually have symptoms for a few days before it resolves. Therefore, symptoms among those who become ill from Habit Burger Grill are considered suggestive of Norovirus.

What is the Norovirus?

Norovirus, commonly called “the stomach flu”, is the most prevalent foodborne illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that Norovirus causes 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S each year. Norovirus is transmitted primarily through a fecal-oral route, person-to-person or through contamination of food or water.

What are symptoms of Norovirus?

Symptoms of Norovirus usually begin 12 to 48 hours after being exposed and typically last for about 1 to 3 days.

Symptoms include:

  • Sudden onset of vomiting and watery diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever

Norovirus causes a relatively short, intense illness in healthy individuals. However, in some cases, severe dehydration, malnutrition, and even death can result from Norovirus infection, especially among children, the elderly and immune-compromised adults.

Noroviruses can cause extended outbreaks because of their high infectivity, persistence in the environment, resistance to common disinfectants, and difficulty in controlling their transmission through routine sanitary measures. In addition, Norovirus has evolved to avoid the immune system, which results in outbreaks. There is no specific treatment available for Norovirus.

The Marler Clark Norovirus lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of foodborne illness. Our Norovirus lawyers have represented thousands of victims of notable Norovirus outbreaks. Marler Clark is the only firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on plaintiff foodborne illness litigation.

If you or a family member became ill with a Norovirus infection after consuming food and you are interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Norovirus attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Call toll-free at 800-884-9840 or complete the contact us form.

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