You have been consulted by a local supermarket regarding a member of staff who has vomited in the bakery section. The bakery section of the supermarket comprises bread products and cakes displayed on open glass shelves, from which customers can choose the products and these are then bagged by the bakery section staff for the customers. The member of staff that vomited had come to work feeling reasonably well, but had suddenly been taken ill and had projectile vomited onto the floor about 1 metre from the bread counter. The member of staff had been sent home immediately as a precaution. The member of staff suffered a further 2 episodes of projectile vomiting and some moderate diarrhoea through the next 24 hours, after which they suffered no further symptoms. The supermarket wants you to advise on whether it can still sell the products that were on the bakery counter when the member of staff was sick, or whether they need to destroy all of the bakery products and deep clean the counter before restocking with fresh products, as the latter option will be very expensive. The supermarket manager wants an answer as quickly as possible; preferably today as the product is highly perishable.
For the previous day’s meals, the member of staff reported having had a beefburger in a bun for their evening meal, a cheese sandwich for lunch, and a bowl of cereals with chilled milk from the fridge for breakfast. The member of staff struggled to recall what they had eaten two days before they were sick, but thought that they had eaten two slices of buttered toast for breakfast, a bowl of soup for lunch and a ham salad and a slice of cream cake for dinner. The member of staff could not remember exactly what they had had to drink over the two days prior to being sick, but reported that they normally drank unsweetened black tea and black coffee. The member of staff reported that 2 days previously their child had suffered several episodes of projectile vomiting for a total of about 1 day, after which they had not vomited again.
As a specialist consultant, you suspect that the illness was caused by norovirus, and so you set about collecting samples with which to test your hypothesis.
1) Taking into account the various foods that the member of staff reported eating over the previous 2 days, discuss the possible causes for the member of staff’s illness, and explain why you believe that norovirus is the most likely cause. You should use around 800-900 words to answer this question. This question is worth 60% of the marks for this assignment.
2) What tests could you use to determine whether norovirus was indeed responsible? Discuss the benefits and disadvantages of the tests that you could perform and suggest which you think would be most useful in this scenario. You should use around 300-400 words to answer this question. This question is worth 25% of the marks for this assignment.
3) If you find that the illness was caused by norovirus, what clean-up steps would you recommend that the supermarket manager takes, and should the product be destroyed or could it still be sold? Please justify your answer. You should use 200-300 words to answer this question. This question is worth 15% of the marks for this assignment.
Please cite appropriate references in your text to show the source of your information, and also give a reference list at the end of your work. It is recommended that you use, and cite, a minimum of 2 sources for each part of this assignment. There is no recommended upper limit to the number of sources that you sue and cite; you should use and cite as many sources as you believe are required to support your argument.