“…the source of most reported foodborne hepatitis A outbreaks had involved infected food handlers, such as those in restaurants or those who prepare food for social events such as weddings…(workers) who have had possible exposure to Hepatitis A and get the necessary shots within 2 weeks of exposure…will have long-term protection against the virus… people infected with the virus are the most infectious two weeks before they actually become ill (and) can be passing the disease on to other people without even knowing they have it…”
What could be better than dining with friends or family at a popular upscale candlelit restaurant in New York City — a restaurant with an “A” sanitation grade from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene?
While that’s how the story began for many of the people who ate at Alta restaurant in the West Village from March 23 to April 2, it ended with the jolting news that if they had had dessert during that time period, they should get a shot (and another one 6 months later) to protect themselves against hepatitis A.
The restaurant’s manager, Manny Solano, told reporters that a pastry chef who had traveled to Mexico discovered she had hepatitis A after going to a doctor because she wasn’t feeling well. It turned out she had contracted the virus during her trip south of the border. In the case of a restaurant employee, hepatitis A can be spread to food or surfaces — and from there to people dining or working at the restaurant — if the worker doesn’t follow basic hygiene practices, chief among them washing his or her hands after going to the bathroom.
And while most food handlers with hepatitis A do not transmit the virus to fellow workers or restaurant patrons (based on surveillance data), many hundreds of restaurant workers have hepatitis A every year, according to the article.
The article concludes by saying that reducing foodborne transmission of the virus can be achieved by improving food production and food handler hygiene and by providing preventive vaccinations to people at risk for infection.
For more: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/04/dessert-followed-by-a-hepatitis-a-shot/#.UWWNA0nn9et
“…the lawsuit alleged that the restaurant chain exposed customers to potentially contaminated food or people, cost them wages and medical expenses, and caused fear and physical pain…a $375,000 fund has been set up by the restaurant’s parent company… to settle a class-action lawsuit…”
A lawsuit has been settled involving hundreds of people who had to be vaccinated after eating at a Fayetteville restaurant last year. The Fayetteville Observer reported those who were immunized after eating at the Olive Garden restaurant are eligible for payments of up to $250.
Hundreds of people got vaccinations after learning that one of the restaurant’s workers had tested positive for the virus, which causes liver inflammation.
Florida-based GMRI denied any wrongdoing but said it wanted to settle to end the litigation.
For more: http://www.northjersey.com/news/health/174592761.html
Hepatitis A is a communicable disease that spreads from person-to-person. It is spread almost exclusively through fecal-oral contact, generally from person-to-person, or via contaminated food or water. Symptoms may not occur for several weeks after exposure and may include abdominal discomfort, fever, malaise, muscle aches, and a yellowing of the skin called jaundice. In rare cases, hepatitis A causes liver failure.
In the wake of a report linking a potential mass exposure of hepatitis A to a Northport McDonald’s restaurant, food safety expert and attorney William Marler is calling on McDonald’s to vaccinate its employees against the virus.
On March 28, the Alabama Department of Public Health released a statement indicating that people who ate at a Northport McDonald’s, located at 2000 McFarland Boulevard, from February 28 through March 14 may have been exposed to hepatitis A through an infected employee. Customers who ate breakfast at the McDonald’s on March 16 may also have been exposed.
Hepatitis A is the only foodborne illness for which a vaccine exists; however infection can only be prevented if the vaccine is given within 14 days of exposure. Therefore those individuals who were potentially exposed on March 14 and March 16 should contact a medical provider immediately to receive treatment. Those who may have been exposed prior to March 14 should have developed symptoms by now if they have contracted the virus.
“From both a public health perspective and business perspective, it makes sense for restaurants to vaccinate their employees against hepatitis A,” said Marler. “It is much simpler to take the initial proactive precaution rather than gamble on a mass scare that equates to potential illness, loss of business, and public uncertainty.”
For more: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9347722.htm