There are 23 confirmed cases including one individual who is seriously ill with hepatitis A linked to an infected food handler.
No one ever listens to me. In 2000, I wrote this:
In light of the recent, large-scale Hepatitis A exposure in the San Francisco Bay Area, food safety attorneys of the Seattle-based law firm of Marler Clark, are asking restaurants and food manufacturers to voluntarily vaccinate all workers against Hepatitis A. “In the last six months Hepatitis A exposures have been linked to two Seattle-area Subways, a Carl’s Jr. in Spokane, WA, Hoggsbreath, a Minnesota restaurant, and three restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, IHOP, U.S. Pizza, and Belvedeers. Now more than seven- hundred children are being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus in California after possible consumption of contaminated strawberries. Furthermore, this isn’t the first time that strawberries have been implicated in the outbreak of a foodborne disease.” Marler continued, “Restaurants and food manufacturers must take action and voluntarily vaccinate all of their employees.”
All preventable by a hepatitis A vaccination – the only foodborne illness that is vaccine preventable.
According to Spencer Kent of NJ.com, and The Morris County Office of Health Management 23 people contracted hepatitis A from a food handler at the Mendham Golf & Tennis Club between June 9 and June 30.
However, notifications to those who were exposed to the virus, however, weren’t made until July 5. Officials said that the July notification was made roughly two days after first learning of the infected food handler.
“At that point, they notified,” said Larry Ragonese, spokesman at the Morris County Office of Health Management.
Ragonese said the food handler had gone to a hospital, where tests turned up the rare and highly contagious virus.
The township said in a statement on Thursday that the outbreak was contained to the club, which is members only.
The township noted that other cases could develop until Aug. 19, which is 50 days from when the food handler was last infectious (the incubation period for Hepatitis A is 15 to 50 days).
Officials said the club sent out a letter on July 5 advising all club members of the exposure and posted a notice at the club.
The notifications also advised members to “inform any guests who may have joined them to dine at the club,” according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
A recommendation was made for all those exposed and unvaccinated to receive treatment within two weeks from the last day the food handler was infectious and working at the club.
Hepatitis A, a disease of the liver caused by a virus, is primarily spread through close contact with a person or through the consumption of contaminated food.
“While individuals with hepatitis A may be quite ill, the risk of transmission is to those who had close contact to the case and patrons of the club who consumed food prepared by the ill worker,” the state Health Department said.
Hepatitis A: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food. The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr. We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, who required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.
If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.