At least 50 people who attended a private party at Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant in Seattle have contracted norovirus, the highly contagious food poisoning virus commonly linked to contaminated oysters and fresh produce.
The party took place on January 18, though symptoms of norovirus can take up to two days to show up. The virus itself can live for weeks on contaminated surfaces.
A number of restaurant employees have also fallen ill, but lab tests for norovirus have not yet been confirmed, according to the Seattle Times.
“Last Wednesday, Maggiano’s became aware of a party that reported illness after visiting our restaurant in Bellevue two days prior, on Monday, January 18,” Maggiano’s management said in a statement. “We immediately reported this potential issue to the King County Health Department, and have been working closely with them to thoroughly investigate. To date, we have no confirmed diagnosis of a food-borne illness, and no other reports of any guest outside of this single party becoming ill.”
Health department officials in Seattle have since closed Maggiano’s, and its food business permit has been temporarily suspended while the location is thoroughly sanitized.