Health dept. confirms norovirus at Overland Park Buffalo Wild Wings

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. --  The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has received confirmation of one positive case of norovirus associated with the investigation at Buffalo Wild Wings,  7030 W 105th Street.

The Overland Park Buffalo Wild Wings is under investigation from local health authorities after several patrons reported illnesses.

The Johnson County Department  of Health of Environment is working with the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment, the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture, and the City of Overland Park to determine the cause of gastrointestinal illness that affected at least 10 people who visited the bar and grill on West 105th Street.

More lab results are expected from the investigation into the illnesses reported at Buffalo Wild Wings. There have been no further reports of illness.

FOX 4's Melissa Stern spoke with Courtney McReynolds and her 7-year-old son, Alex. The family ate at the restaurant last week. Less than 48 hours later, Alex fell ill and missed two days of school.

They ate nachos and wings, but she only ate one wing. Alex ate all of his.

"Just the sauce, a little bit tasted different. Tasted weird," Alex said.

Courtney said later he was vomiting, going to the bathroom, and had a fever.

"I threw up five times, and I got dizzy the next day and my stomach ached and I went to the bathroom," Alex said. Courtney thought it was a typical winter illness.

"Then I saw a thing about Buffalo Wild Wings and the Health Department and the time that it was going on, and then I remembered that that's whenever Alexander got really sick," Courtney said.

Alex is now on the mend, but Courtney said she and her family will not be returning to the restaurant.

A report from the Kansas Department of Agriculture from a Jan. 30 visit to the Buffalo Wild Wings found 18 health violations, among them an employee seen wiping his nose with the back of a gloved hand and returning to work, and several bottles of liquor seen with small dead insects inside.

An employee restroom was also found to have boxes of napkins and uniforms blocking the sink, and the faucet did not have working hot water.

A Buffalo Wild Wings spokesperson released the following statement.

We take food safety very seriously, and following a report Saturday of potential illness by the Health Department, we decided to close the Overland Park restaurant to allow for a third-party vendor to conduct a thorough cleaning. Although there is no conclusive link to our restaurant being the source of the illness, we voluntarily took these actions out of an abundance of caution. The restaurant re-opened Sunday following consultation with the Health Department.

Some Shawnee Mission South High School students were also among the ones who got sick after eating at the restaurant. Dr. Todd Dain, Principal of Shawnee Mission South High School, released a statement on Tuesday to the families of his students.

Last week, the Shawnee Mission South swim and dive team booster club held an activity fundraiser at the restaurant.  Following that event, several attendees reported coming down with a gastrointestinal illness. While this event did not occur at the school, I want to share with you the attached document from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.  We will continue to monitor and work closely with the health department and take the appropriate precautions for touch-point cleaning and disinfection.

The affected students were tested, and health officials are now waiting on those results.

The metro area has seen several health concerns at area restaurants. A Shawnee Chipotle restaurant was linked to an E. Coli outbreak in September, and a recent outbreak of norovirus affected hundreds of customers of the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park.

 

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