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Doughnut shop investigated for giving norovirus to almost 200 people

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MAUMEE, OH (WNWO) - Almost 200 cases of norovirus reported in the Toledo area and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has identified a local doughnut shop as the common factor. The name of the shop is Mama C’s Doughnuts and Fine Pastries, and its located on Conant street in Maumee. The shop is now working with the health department to remedy the problem.

Barry Wolfford says he used to eat at Mama C’s all the time.

“They made their doughnuts fresh everyday," he explained. "And I loved the powdered, cream-filled doughnuts.”

But he says he recently tried to talk to them about their cleanliness

“They would put the paper in the case. And I love these people here, but I talked to them. I tried to tell them. I said, ‘look, you’re not saving any money. They give you a thousand sheet in one box, and you’re going to use the same on over and over?”

So when the family-owned doughnut shop was determined to be the likely source of almost 200 cases of norovirus over the weekend, he was not surprised.

“Sometimes you have to figure it out," he commented. "One way they figure it out is when they close the doors.”

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal flu that can cause vomit, diarrhea, body aches, and a mild fever. Symptoms normally only last about 3 days. The health department was first alerted to the virus on Monday following an influx of patients to the hospital over the weekend.

The virus is usually non-severe, but it is still important any infection be treated with caution.

“For us right now, we have an outbreak, were doing an investigation," said Eric Zgodzinski with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department . But the important thing for the community to understand is that there could be secondary infections. So I consumed food and norovirus, and I could be transferring that to my family and friends.”

To avoid the virus spreading, the Health Department STRONGLY emphasizes the importance of hand washing. Additionally, they urge people to stay hydrated, clean and sanitize any affected surfaces, and abstain from handling food if they do not feel well.

The department still has not determined exactly what product or food process at the shop is responsible for the virus, but say Mama C’s has been very cooperative.

“They voluntarily closed," said Zgodzinski. "They’re doing a deep cleaning. So they’re doing the right things.”

The owners of Mama C’s did not want to comment on camera, but told NBC 24 they are intending to bring in professional to clean the premises.

“I feel better about eating here now after they’ve had a situation than before,” commented Wolfford.

After the deep clean, the health department will perform an inspection to give Mama C’s the stamp of approval, and they will not face any sort of fine.

They say they are just anxious to get back open, although they do not yet know when that will be.

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