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2012-12-21 at 14:49

Norovirus confirmed after 85 become ill following catered events

FASD FactsDrinking Alcohol at any time during pregnancy could affect the normal development of the

THUNDER BAY -- The district's Health Unit has confirmed that a recently reported illness was caused by the Norovirus.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit began investigating after 85 people reported becoming ill following three catered events in the city late last week.

Food for the events was supplied by Maltese Grocery, which immediately suspended its catering service upon hearing they could be linked to the problem.

But now that the problem has been identified, catering operations will resume.

Health Unit officials say they believe all necessary steps have ben taken to guard against any re-occurrence.

(Thunder Bay Television)

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newsreader says:
Glad they’re back at it. Need someone to cater our post Christmas party in the New Year.
12/21/2012 3:35:15 PM
Watchmaker says:
The Maltese Grocery has been a quality operation in Thunder Bay for many years and my family has supported this local business loyally and will continue to do so. Norovirus is very contagious, but is not as serious or as life threatening as Salmonella or E coli 0157 and there are many stages where it could have been introduced after food preparation and transportation to these events. I don't know the results of the investigation, but will be happy to purchase the meat for our holiday meals from Maltese without concern.
12/21/2012 6:37:51 PM
nc123 says:
Maltese was supposed to cater our office holiday party this past week. When we went to pick up our trays, Maltese staff were visibly disappointed in telling us that our trays were ready, but they could not sell them to us due to the potential health risk.

Instead, one of the staff sliced meat and cheese for us fresh from the deli in much larger quantities than we would have received on the trays. When we went to pay, they waived us off. Free of charge for the trouble. The meat and cheese were fantastic as usual, and that much sweeter because of the outstanding service we received in a difficult situation.

Hats off to this great local business for the fantastic service!
12/22/2012 12:23:11 PM
fastball says:
Dave and Loretta and the entire Maltese Grocery staff are in a class by themselves. That's why I've been coming for my Wednesday hot sausage lunch and my weekend steaks for 15 years. Good service and good products makes for customer loyalty.
12/22/2012 2:43:55 PM
trent says:
I've been shopping at Maltese for years and I will continue to do so. The customer service, product selection and overall atmosphere there is top-notch.
12/22/2012 4:58:41 PM
blindfoldlake says:
It's interesting that the health unit pointed the finger as quickly as they did. They of all people should know that the norovirus could have come from anyone of the hundreds of people at the functions the food was catered at. A simply investigate method to eliminate one source, such as a food handler is to ask if any of their employees have recently fell ill. This would have been far more ethical on both the health unit and media prior to reporting. As opposed to fact, conjecture and or speculation created fear in the public, and harmed a longstanding small business operating who has delivered exceptional service for more years than most businesses in Thunder Bay have been in business. Shame on the media for failing to report fact in an objective manner. I'll shop at Maltese for as long as i live, and their open, they can cater anything function i'm either putting on or being a part of. Now I have to go and eat the steak i just bought from the crew at the best little store in town.
12/22/2012 9:37:19 PM
RelaxinginMurillo says:
It's possible, but unlikely, that three different events had a three different contaminators. Two little hints do indicate a problem in those particular trays.. the fact that the health unit is satisfied that the problem is taken care of (ie, nothing wrong with the shop itself), and the above post where nc123 wasn't allowed to take the pre-assembled tray, but could take new cuts.
Something in the source chain of these trays had a problem, and it has been eliminated.
I would have no fear of shopping here now.
12/23/2012 8:04:00 AM
sky high says:
@blindfoldlake, funny that you did no research before posting your comment. The health unit did an absolutely thorough job of investigating this outbreak before naming the caterer. They called me and asked me questions for 10 minutes after I became ill at a function that Maltese was involved with. They did not name the caterer until after they were certain that the virus originated from the caterer's shop. I'll bet you would have been chomping at the bit to know the name of the caterer if they'd not done such a fast investigation, and screaming 'cover up'. As for Maltese, even though I got sick I will continue to shop there as long as I live in Thunder Bay. Their reputation is amazing, and no one can deny that. As for you, blindfold, research some facts before commenting. Merry Christmas
12/24/2012 7:59:47 AM
chbaker says:
I bet it was Walmart or some other heartless American corporate box store who put the virus in the clean local businesses food.

Those evil corporations will stop at nothing to get as many dollars from our economy as possible.

Something like this would be minor compared to the atrocities committed every day by corporate box stores.
12/23/2012 9:05:12 AM
happy gardener says:
Dave & his sister Lisa own Maltese Grocery.
Loretta is a cashier who has been there many years.
12/23/2012 1:48:10 PM
fastball says:
Dang it...I KNEW that sounded wrong! I always mix those two names up. Apologies to both ladies.
12/24/2012 5:36:54 AM
CM Punk says:
Those of you commenting about the "big box" stores, this has nothing to do with that.
This is strike two within a year already against Maltese grocery.
(Remember the Old Barn, they got their food from them)
Anyways, I shop at Maltese as well, for my meat and cheese but do not get trays there.
Too many people working and too many hands all over does not make it for a clean environment.
Agostino and Nucci are better choices.
12/23/2012 4:46:49 PM
The Wolf says:
I love when you try to act intelligent but show to all of us how ignorant you really are. The problem at the Old Barn was the water, not the food.
12/24/2012 12:30:00 AM
reg says:
The Old Barn was using well water remember. Thanks for bring up the Old Barn I forgot about it. Guess I'II stay away.
12/24/2012 6:51:08 AM
really??? says:
@CM Punk
When you shop at Maltese, do you not hear the deli clerks say before serving EVERY customer "sure, just let me wash my hands first"? And they SO WASH THEIR HANDS after every customer. Lisa, Dave and the whole crew at Maltese are very careful and CLEAN - we have been getting meat trays there for 20+ years (just got one on Monday) Have never been sick. I agree that Agostino's and Nucci's are good deli's as well, but I would not say that they are better choices. All 3 of them are locally owned, and all provide a great service to Thunder Bay - as well as a great little Deli in Westfort(Fresco's) Oh - and just to set the record straight on This Old Barn - they get their beef from the Abattoir just like Maltese does. When Maltese makes a meat / cheese tray - ONE person makes, your tray (after they have washed their hands of course). NO - I don't work for Maltese.
12/24/2012 9:45:05 AM
razor_burn says:
Just a cold.
12/27/2012 9:29:01 AM
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