Published On: Fri, Mar 28th, 2014

Suspected norovirus outbreak linked to Beltline Bar in Grand Rapids

A Grand Rapids, Michigan Tex-Mex restaurant is being investigated by Kent County health officials after more than a dozen patrons to the Beltline Bar called in describing symptoms of norovirus after eating there over the weekend.

Norovirus Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

According to a post on the Kent County Health Department Facebook page yesterday, officials say that “the staff there has been very cooperative in our investigation.”

Beltline Bar owner, Jeff Lobdell went to Facebook with the following statement:

Dear Valued Customers & Friends,
My name is Jeff Lobdell, I am the owner of the Beltline Bar. Tonight it was reported that the restaurant is being investigated for a possible norovirus incident that may have happened over the weekend. Nothing like this has happened in the restaurant’s 60 year history, but we are taking this very seriously. The health, wellness and safety our guests and staff is the most important thing to us. We serve as many as 1000 people a day & pride ourselves on our many years of exemplary sanitation and safety. This single incident is a reminder that the norovirus, which has become more prevalent in all public places is very powerful and there that you can never be too cautious. We want to thank the Health Department in their assistance in helping us ensure that we go above and beyond all suggested measures to protect our patrons and employees. I ask that anyone who thinks that may have possibly been affected by this situation personally call me at (616-235-8640) so I can make it right. Your patronage & support is appreciated at this difficult time not only by myself, but also our staff members.

Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.

Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food andwater, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.

Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.



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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Suspected norovirus outbreak linked to Wild Chef Japanese Steakhouse Grill and Bar, more than 100 sickened - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] The Kent County Health Department investigating complaints of illness among diners at the Beltline Bar in Grand Rapids said Wednesday, April 2, that three cases tested positive for norovirus. […]

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