The Herringbone Waikiki restaurant in Honolulu temporarily closed this week after at least 45 people became ill after eating there. The state Department of Health says several of the cases were confirmed to be norovirus.
According to the Seattle Times, the diners who reported falling ill all ate at the Herringbone Waikiki the previous weekend. The health department was notified on Monday, October 9, by a customer who said a group of five people had dined at the restaurant over the weekend, and everyone in the party became ill. After that, the number of sickened customers continued to grow. The restaurant voluntarily closed on Thursday, October 12, for cleaning.
The restaurant — one of five locations of the chain run by chef Brian Malarkey, a former Top Chef finalist who also appeared on ABC's The Taste — was cleaned and sanitized, and the health department inspected it and cleared it for re-opening.
"Following our voluntary closure, Herringbone reopened for dinner on Sunday, October 15," said spokesperson Rob Mora. "We have been working closely with the DOH who have thoroughly inspected the restaurant following a complete sanitization in compliance with their standards. The well-being of our guests and staff remains our absolute priority and we look forward to welcoming guests."
Norovirus is one of the most common food-borne illnesses. In recent years it has sickened people due to contamination of water bottles, cruise ships, and Chipotle restaurants. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
The health department says it is aware of 45 people who say they became sick after eating at the restaurant the previous weekend, all of whom recovered after a couple days. Contracting norovirus is an extremely unpleasant experience, which is why it’s best to be careful around the foods most likely to cause food poisoning.