After a New York City food market worker reported a case of Hepatitis A, health officials are recommending that any customers who consumed chopped, ready-to-eat fruit at the store or via catering or delivery between Aug. 9 and Aug. 22 get vaccinated.
The Westside Market on Manhattan’s Upper West Side sold the fruit (cut watermelon, peeled whole pineapple and shelled and cut coconut) in plastic containers in a refrigerated case.
Hep A is spread by eating food which is contaminated with traces of fecal matter from an infected person. The NYC Department of Health has reportedly made sure that any remaining product with expiration dates within the at-risk time period was destroyed.
Symptoms of Hep A infection include jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea and develop about a month after a person is exposed to the virus. However, development of symptoms can range from as few as 15 days to as many as 50 days.
Being vaccinated within 14 days of exposure to Hepatitis A can prevent the disease from occurring. Consumers may get the shot at their doctor’s office or visit a free Hepatitis A vaccination clinic being held Friday through Monday at a local NYC school.
“We are asking these store patrons to get this vaccination as a precautionary measure,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “If people experience symptoms, they should see a doctor immediately. This incident serves as an important reminder to always wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of disease.”© Food Safety News