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NC Restaurant Owner Calls for Mandatory Hepatitis A Vaccinations

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-person-receiving-vaccine-close-up-vaccination-protection-image34491574After an employee of Dogwood Southern Table and Bar in Charlotte, NC, tested positive for the Hepatitis A virus last month, the Mecklenburg County Health Department advised staff members and patrons who visited the restaurant over a two-day period to get a vaccination.

Now Jon Dressler, the owner of Dogwood, is proposing that all restaurant employees in Mecklenburg County be vaccinated in order to prevent the possibility of future transmission.

According to Time Warner Cable News in Charlotte, vaccinating all of the 426,000 restaurant workers in the state would cost about $64 million.

“You weigh the expense of the vaccination versus the expense of any lost business you might incur,” Dressler told the station.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were an estimated 3,050 acute Hepatitis A infections in the U.S. in 2012, and the rates of Hepatitis A are the lowest they have been in 40 years.

© Food Safety News
  • FoodLover

    I disagree with a vaccination mandate for food service workers. What makes more public health sense is for people in general to get vaccinated. There many reasons why targeting food workers makes little sense. According to the New York Department of Health:

    “While food service employers can offer hepatitis A vaccine to their employees if they wish, most public health authorities prefer not to make it mandatory for the following reasons:

    There is no evidence that food service workers are at any greater risk of acquiring hepatitis A than are people in other occupations.

    Only 2-3 percent of all hepatitis A cases are acquired through restaurant food.

    Employee turnover in some segments of the food service industry is high, making it impractical to vaccinate staff.

    Emphasis on careful hand washing, use of disposable gloves and not working when ill are measures that can greatly minimize the risk of spreading hepatitis A and a number of other infections.

    Hepatitis A vaccine would be strongly recommended for food service workers in a county or region where a community-wide outbreak has been recognized.”


  • Kitsy WooWoo

    I agree with most of what you wrote. But not “What makes more public health sense is for people in general to get vaccinated.” Nobody should feel compelled to be vaccinated for anything. Just my opinion.