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Health officials: Norovirus likely cause of Cowfish restaurant illnesses

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Health officials did not find any issues with the sanitation at a popular Charlotte restaurant after several of its employees became sick with flu-like symptoms. They say the most probable cause is norovirus.

Cowfish in Charlotte’s SouthPark area temporarily closed after employees and several diners became sick. The restaurant announced the closing on its Facebook page Saturday morning.

Mecklenburg County Health Department says they inspected the restaurant and did not find any issues with sanitation that could have caused the flu-like symptoms.

“We are taking a precautionary and voluntary step and will be closed today after some of our employees fell ill with flu like symptoms and we received reports from diners of sickness,” officials wrote.

“We are working closely with health officials to determine the cause and how best to proceed to ensure the health and safety of our guests and employees.”

“The Cowfish has been extremely responsive and proactive,” the health department says. The restaurant apologized for the closures “inconvenience” and announced plans to reopen on Sunday.

Health officials call the closure “precautionary” and say the restaurant is doing a “thorough cleaning and sanitizing.” The Cowfish is located along the 4300 block of Sharon Road near SouthPark mall.

In a statement Monday evening, the restaurant apologized.

“Anyone who knows The Cowfish, its owners and its staff understands we strive for nothing but the highest standards in every aspect of our operation,” the statement said. “We want to assure the public we have done everything we can to eliminate the virus. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests and employees.”

Observer staff contributed.

Cowfish statement

The Cowfish would like to apologize to our guests and employees for any discomfort or inconvenience they might have experienced as result of the virus that affected our restaurant.

On Friday, after recognizing a problem existed, we immediately closed the restaurant voluntarily and contacted the Mecklenburg County Health Department to ensure we took appropriate action. Over two days, we conducted repeated cleanings to eliminate the virus and continued to work with health inspectors on site before reopening on Sunday.

Anyone who knows The Cowfish, its owners and its staff understands we strive for nothing but the highest standards in every aspect of our operation.

We want to assure the public we have done everything we can to eliminate the virus. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests and employees.

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