Gastronomic Gastroenteritis at The Fat Duck
Faculty of Health Sciences
Simon Fraser University
This interrupted case study was inspired by and uses data from one of the largest commercial restaurant associated outbreaks of norovirus reported in the literature. It applies basic principles of epidemiology and outbreak investigation to a shellfish-linked norovirus outbreak at a Michelin star restaurant in the UK in 2009. The details of the case are taken directly from the report that was produced by the health protection agency and publications that followed. Students take on the role of an infection control team (ICT) that is responsible for identifying the extent and source of the outbreak. They are taken through different stages of the outbreak investigation and at each stage asked what their team would do in response to given pieces of information. Specifically, students uncover the scope and source of the outbreak using descriptive and basic analytical epidemiology methods. The case is suitable for first or second year introductory courses in microbiology, epidemiology, or other infectious disease related topics.
- Review steps of an outbreak investigation in the context of a food-borne disease investiEdit Case Recordgation.
- Understand the role of descriptive epidemiology in the context of an outbreak, and the importance of defining a case.
- Interpret an epidemic curve and calculate incubation period from a graph produced from outbreak data.
- Identify transmission mode and predict the impact on the spread of the outbreak and explain what is meant by secondary transmission.
- Distinguish between case-control and cohort study and determine which study type is appropriate for this outbreak investigation.
Keywordsoutbreak investigation; norovirus; foodborne illness; restaurant; Blumenthal; Fat Duck; gastroenterology; food poisoning; epidemic curve
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsInterrupted
Subject HeadingsEpidemiology | Microbiology | Food Science / Technology | Science (General) |
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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.
There are four reading assignments associated with this case study, excerpted from the AFMC Primer on Population Health (2017). The chapter and section number where the material appears in the Primer is indicated in parentheses below. The complete work may be downloaded from https://afmc.ca/AFMCPrimer.pdf.
Reading 1: Detection and control of outbreaks (11.1)
Reading 2: Patterns of disease development in a population: the epidemic curve (7.4)
Reading 3: Modes and control of transmission (11.3)
Reading 4: Observational studies (5.7)