Nashville hepatitis A cases increase with restaurant worker report
Health officials in Nashville are reporting an outbreak of hepatitis A cases. The city’s Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) has confirmed 183 cases since December 2017. One recent case involves an employee at Outback Steakhouse Restaurant Rivergate who tested positive for hepatitis A while he was working at the restaurant in late December 2018.
Food handlers with hepatitis A are of particular concern, particularly during an outbreak such as the one Nashville is reporting. The virus can easily be transmitted by a restaurant employee
who does not wash his or her hands thoroughly after using the restroom and then touches food that is then served to customers.
The employee of Outback Steakhouse was confirmed to be working at the restaurant while symptomatic December 22-24, 2018. Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Customers who ate at the restaurant during the time the infected employee worked there could have become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus.
Health officials are urging Nashville residents to get a hepatitis A vaccine because of the outbreak. While vaccinations are the best way to protect against infection, proper hand washing can also be a significant deterrent. Food servers should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, before and after handling food.
Outback Steakhouse Restaurant Rivergate has offered vaccinations to all of its employees, administered through MPHD. Restaurant employees who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to return to work. In addition, the restaurant facility is being thoroughly sanitized and all employees are being retrained on proper food safety protocol.
For more information, or to contact a Hepatitis A Lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901.