Department of Health

Case of Hepatitis A linked to supermarket deli

10/06/16
Published by Department of Health & Human Services

Customers of a Yarram supermarket have been warned about the symptoms of Hepatitis A following a case linked to the premises, Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Professor Charles Guest said today.

"A food handler at the Foodworks in Yarram at 261 Commercial Road has been diagnosed with the illness," Prof Guest said.

"Anyone who has bought ready-to-eat foods from the supermarket, particularly cold meats, smallgoods and pre-prepared salads from the delicatessen should be aware of the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A.

"Customers should either dispose of recently purchased food.

"And any recently purchased fruit and vegetables should also be discarded," he said.

The symptoms of Hepatitis A are fever, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort, dark urine, yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that is found in the faeces of an infected person. This means their hands can carry the virus after using the toilet and spread by direct contact or by food, beverages and other objects such as cups and spoons. Food handlers with Hepatitis A may also spread the virus through food they prepare.

"Based on the incubation of this virus we could see additional cases during the coming weeks," Prof Guest said.

"People with Hepatitis A can pass the disease on to others from about two weeks before they begin to feel sick - until one week after the appearance of jaundice.

"Any person who has eaten food from this outlet and is showing symptoms should seek urgent medical attention.

"Information about Hepatitis A has been provided to other workers at the supermarket. None has reported any illness.

"An extensive clean up of the supermarket and deli area is being carried out under the supervision of Wellington Shire and in accordance with DHHS guidelines.

"The council will monitor the premises again to ensure food safety and hygiene measures are continuing to be observed," Prof Guest said.

It is extremely important that food handlers practise good personal hygiene at all times. This means washing hands thoroughly in soap and running water after visiting the toilet, before eating and before handling food.

Reviewed 10 June 2016

Health.vic

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Bram Alexander Department of Health Media Unit

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