Late in the month of September, customers of a grocery store in Michigan were warned about the potential of consuming food that had been handled by an employee who tested positive for Hepatitis A. Hepatitis A isn’t one of the most discussed pathogens, but the subject occasionally comes up in product recall notices and articles such as this one, so we think it prudent to discuss its causes and symptoms.
Minnesota Food Training Guide to Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A can be spread when an infected person handles prepared food. Hepatitis A outbreaks also come from shellfish harvested in infected waters. Some of the symptoms of Hepatitis A include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
Our Minnesota food training courses tell us that the best way to prevent the spread of food-borne illness is to properly wash our hands and to never handle prepared food with bare hands. This rule applies to preventing the spread of Hepatitis A as well.
Hepatitis A is one of the few food-borne illness culprits that can be prevented via vaccination. If you plan to travel to exotic locations or you routinely care for the sick or potentially infected, you should ask your doctor about being vaccinated. If you come into contact with the bacteria or become exposed to someone who has it, seek out vaccination as soon as possible.
Finally, know where your shellfish comes from and keep an eye out for contamination information if you serve it in your restaurant. If you have a potentially infected batch, contact your local health department to request information as to what steps must be taken next.
Are there any other pathogens that aren’t discussed regularly in food training classes that you’d like us to cover in an upcoming blog entry?