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Maggiano’s Little Italy in Seattle shut for possible norovirus outbreak

The exterior of Maggiano's Little Italy in Garden

The exterior of Maggiano's Little Italy in Garden City. Credit: Maggiano’s Little Italy

Maggiano’s Little Italy, the national chain restaurant whose only New York location is open for business at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, may be dealing with the same foodborne illness that has plagued Chipotle Mexican Grill.

On Tuesday, Maggiano’s restaurant in Bellvue, Washington, was closed by Seattle health officials while they investigated a possible norovirus outbreak. As many as 50 people were sickened at a private event held at the restaurant on Jan. 18.

Today, Maggiano’s issued a statement saying that, to date, there has been “no confirmed diagnosis of food-borne illness, and no other reports of any guest outside of this single party becoming ill.” Nevertheless, the statement continued, “we are taking this isolated incident very seriously and have thoroughly disinfected the restaurant. We maintain strict standards of quality, safety and cleanliness in our restaurants and train every teammate in proper food safety and handling.”

The spokesman noted, “This is an isolated incident at the Bellevue restaurant.”

Maggiano’s opened a 280-seat restaurant on Ring Road outside Roosevelt Field on Dec. 7. The chain, with 51 locations nationwide, is known for its Italian-American repertoire and family-style portions.

Norovirus infection usually results in gastroenteritis (symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain) but rarely requires a hospital stay. It originates with fecally contaminated food or water and is transmitted by person-to-person contact or contamination of surfaces.

It was norovirus that sickened about 100 people at Chipotle in Simi Valley, California, in August, and about 150 people at a Chipotle in Boston. In the past year, Chipotle has also struggled with outbreaks of E. coli and Salmonella.

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