New York — A chef working in the kitchen of an upscale restaurant has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A infection according to owners of the bistro. They note that the food worker continued working in the restaurant for about a week or more after she contracted the illness. Department of health officials for the city warned that people who ate in the cafe eatery should see their doctors and consider getting a vaccination against the disease in case they were exposed to the virus in their food. They explain that Hepatitis A can be passed along in food when kitchen workers or servers don’t properly wash their hands with soap and water before touching the food. The disease is a kind of food poisoning that is transmitted through feces and can cause serious illness, starting with nausea and diarrhea but progressing to cause damage to the liver and stomach pains. A personal injury lawyer in New York City who specializes in food-borne illnesses explains that restaurant owners and staff have an obligation to protect the public health. They are required to keep all food preparation areas clean and wash their hands well after using the bathroom and before handling food or supplies. Proper refrigeration and fully cooking all foods that can harbor dangerous bacteria and diseases are also required in order to maintain the safety of their patrons. A worker who becomes sick must be removed from the handling of food or supplies in order to prevent the illness from spreading to unsuspecting diners. An owner or manager that ignores or overlooks violations of these public health laws may be held liable for professional negligence and can face a personal injury lawsuit by the injured or ill victim. Health experts say that most cases on food poisoning can be prevented by careful attention to food safety protocols. Find out more about this dangerous Hepatitis A health scare here.
Photo by Nephron (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons