We’ve all been there.  You have to make an appearance at the local Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner.  It usually means you have to make it through an endless series of self-serving speeches, but at least you can go home when it all over.

Those atttending the Jan. 24th Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner were not so lucky.  Many did not get to go home, they instead went to the hospital, suffering from norovirus.   The pretigious Sofitel Hotel, site of the dinner, made 62 of more than 200 attending the event sick.

San Meteo health officials said those who got sick were more likely  to have eaten a chicken and salmon dish than the vegetarian option.  They also said some of the hotel’s health code violations may have contributed to the outbreak.

Among those violations were not keeping food warm enough and not using sanitary cloth to clean with.

The San Meteo County Times reported the outbreak struck one of its leading elected officiaisl.

Among the attendees who got sick were Supervisor Mark Church, aides confirmed.

One of his items on the Board of Supervisors agenda that would have expanded a green business program had to be postponed because Church wasn’t sure he would be well enough to make the meeting. (He did attend.)

The hotel’s general manager, Didier de La Fierre, a member of the chamber, was also sickened, Maragakis said.

Peterson said norovirus outbreaks at hotels are uncommon, but not unheard of. He remembered a wedding banquet at a hotel a few years ago that had a similar problem.

“I’m happy to say this is not a regular occurrence,” he said.

The Times story can be found here.