Sizzler help investigation into suspected gastro outbreak

HEALTH officials are investigating the cause of a suspected gastro outbreak at an Ipswich restaurant, leaving several patrons ill.

The West Moreton Hospital and Health Board was notified of the cases after a night of trade at the Sizzlers restaurant in Booval.

Director and public health physician Dr Kari Jarvinen and Sizzler confirmed the Ipswich restaurant was being investigated after multiple reports of gastro.

Dr Jarvinen said lab tests using samples from customers and staff were under way to establish the cause.

He said the virus was spread through close contact with infected people.

"So if someone had picked up a utensil like a fork, which had then come into contact with another person, they could have easily been infected," he said.

He said the venue was co-operating in the investigation and would be checked to assure the appropriate level of sanitation and cleaning had taken place.

"At the moment, there is a highly contagious gastric virus in the community," he said.

"So there is the possibility that someone with the virus could have entered the restaurant and contaminated the facility without realising it."

Woodend mum Kellie Roussounis-Adams and her family became ill with a gastro illness after eating at the restaurant last Friday.

"The following day my entire family was sick, including my two children," she said. "My husband, who works as a concreter, was forced to take a day off work."

Mrs Roussounis-Adams became aware of the gastro outbreak through social media.

Sizzlers refunded the cost of the meal to Mrs Roussounis-Adams, which is helping Queensland Health identify the source.

A Sizzler spokeswoman said customers had raised their concerns after the Friday night.

She said the restaurant chain contacted Queensland Health as a precautionary measure.

"Sizzler is assisting Queensland Health and awaiting the results of tests," she said.

"The details provided by the guests to us indicate the likely cause of the illness is viral."

She said Sizzler had strict hygiene standards.

Dr Jarvinen advised anyone experiencing gastro symptoms should remain home for at least 24 to 48 hours until all symptoms were gone.

Topics:  west moreton hospital and health service

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