Golden Corral closes for cleaning, inspection after norovirus outbreak

2012-12-13T17:45:00Z 2013-02-11T18:12:13Z Golden Corral closes for cleaning, inspection after norovirus outbreakBy KYLE ROERINK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

The Golden Corral restaurant in east Casper is closed until at least dinnertime Friday after a suspected foodborne virus outbreak at the location affected more than 150 people, according to David Giesen, president of franchisee Golden DBL Inc. of Denver.

The restaurant was closed Thursday afternoon. Giesen said the shutdown is voluntary while staff members clean and disinfect the restaurant and the Casper-Natrona County Health Department continues its investigation.

Health Department Director Bob Harrington said Thursday that 167 people have reported becoming ill after eating at the restaurant this past week.

Harrington said health department officials are interviewing Golden Corral employees as part of their investigation, trying to nail down whether the restaurant is the cause of the norovirus outbreak.

Meanwhile, he said the restaurant is conducting a top-to-bottom cleaning and disinfection.

Harrington said department officials will return Friday to conduct a final inspection so the restaurant can open for dinner.

“I have no reason not to believe everything will be OK, because the darn thing is invisible,” Harrington said.

The Wyoming Department of Health collected stool samples and reviewed emergency room reports of at least 30 people during its investigation, said state Epidemiologist Dr. Tracy Murphy.

The agency will never identify a particular food, Harrington said. But the conclusion is that the evidence points to the restaurant, he said.

Murphy said a number of Casper residents have had the flu-like symptoms associated with the norovirus, but in the past week there has been a stark jump in the numbers. The numbers suggest an association with the restaurant, he said, but it’s impossible to confirm how many of the ill are associated with Golden Corral.

“Every year we see quite a few outbreaks of [norovirus] associated with eating facilities,” Murphy said. “It’s not uncommon. We see it a lot. It may not be anything a restaurant has done wrong. It could be sick people contaminating the restaurant.”

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. cuddles
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    cuddles - January 09, 2013 3:32 pm
    All of those who got sick should get attorneys & file lawsuits!
  2. cuddles
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    cuddles - January 09, 2013 3:30 pm
    I agree with Jeffrey they should just pack up and go home & would just like to add that they will never get me to eat there and a survey of my friends all agree that they wont be eating there either.Golden Corral sure did'nt start out right & if they had any classs at all they would shut down & knock the dirt off their boots at the State Line!
  3. branchville_fred
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    branchville_fred - December 18, 2012 6:37 am
    Gee Wiz, I sure hope this does not happen at the Blue Ribbion rest. on Cluver Lake :-)
  4. Happy
    Report Abuse
    Happy - December 14, 2012 12:00 pm
    My family and I have ate the golden corral and have never gotten sick. I got the same symptoms as everyone is claiming to have after eating at the golden corral but I haven't eaten there in almost a month. When I got the symptoms of the flu I ate at home so Im wondering can I blame the store where I bought the food at and brought home and ate for making me sick. My family and I aren't affraid to go eat at the golden corral; they have good food and it tastes awesome.
  5. Jeffrey
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    Jeffrey - December 14, 2012 6:24 am
    Sounds like they just need to pack up and go home....
  6. Tommynshawna
    Report Abuse
    Tommynshawna - December 14, 2012 5:28 am
    My family and I have dined at the "Golden Corral" restaurant many times in other cities/locations and had such a nice experience.
    When the restaurant came to Casper, it was such a disappointment. The facility is Very small and not at all inviting. The food selection is minimal at best and the staff and seating give me the impression that I am being numbered and being placed up for a Cattle Auction.
    For the prices that they charge, the service, food and atmosphere must also be "cleaned up" or I fear our little "Aluminum, (certainly not Golden) Corral" will be an empty building with a bad, health related closure and horrid service.
  7. sage
    Report Abuse
    sage - December 13, 2012 6:39 pm
    I ate there yesterday with friends; the ribs were totally cold and then they burned them. I went to get chicken and they yanked pan away saying it was cold. It was a horrid meal and I hope they get their act together.
  8. Violet
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    Violet - December 13, 2012 6:17 pm
    my whole family went to golden corral monday night none of us were after we finished our meal we felt very sick like we were goin to throw up. that night i came down with bad dirareah and my daughter in is five in a half months pregnant and had cramps so bad he thought she was in labor and she puked as well. everybody else we were with got sick too. its kinda weird none of us were sick that night til we ate there and then we all got sick at once.
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