FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health is investigating a possible food-borne illness outbreak at Cebolla's Mexican Grill on W. Jefferson Boulevard.
The department said they received multiple reports of illness from patrons who ate at the restaurant at 5930 West Jefferson Boulevard in Time Corners. About 20 people claim to have gotten sick after eating there on Sunday, March 25.
Although the investigation is ongoing and test results are pending, the symptoms are consistent with a type of viral gastroenteritis known as “norovirus.” It will likely be weeks before the investigation is concluded and findings are known.
The health department said management of Cebolla’s is fully cooperating with health officials in this investigation. The restaurant voluntarily closed on Thursday to thoroughly clean and disinfect. Any employees who have been sick recently will be tested for infection and excluded from work.
Gastroenteritis can be caused by a variety of viruses, one of which is norovirus. Because it so easily spreads in places such as restaurants, schools, nursing homes and cruise ships, norovirus is the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States.
People often become infected by eating foods or drinking liquids that are contaminated with the virus, by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus and then touching their mouth, or having direct contact with another person who is infected and showing symptoms.
Symptoms of gastrointestinal illness usually begin 24 to 48 hours after exposure and can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. Anyone who develops symptoms should stay home and wash their hands frequently.
For more information, visit www.allencountyhealth.com or call 449-7561.