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Hepatitis A Emerges as a Significant Food-Borne Disease

09/01/2019

According to the Center for Disease Control, a total of 31 states have reported close to 35,000 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in 2019.  This infection results in a high proportion of hospital admissions.  Although the infection is common among the homeless and intravenous drug users, approximately 30 percent of cases involve foodborne infection. Numerous cases have been diagnosed, in which food handlers were implicated.

 

Infected food handlers are responsible for transmission of the virus to diners through the fecal-oral route requiring deficiencies in personal hygiene by shedders in direct contact with food and utensils.

 

Since hepatitis A can be prevented by available vaccination, all food handlers and workers in restaurants including QSRs should receive preventive vaccination as a condition of employment.