Food Safety Magazine

News | May 22, 2014

Missouri Restaurant Worker May Have Exposed Thousands to Hepatitis A

Missouri Restaurant Worker May Have Exposed Thousands to Hepatitis A

Source: USA Today

Health officials worry that as many as 5,000 people could have been exposed to hepatitis A at a Red Robin restaurant here [in Springfield, MO] after a worker was diagnosed with the virus.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department officials received a report Tuesday about the illness, which can affect the liver, and worked with state and federal officials to get enough vaccine shipped so people who went to the restaurant May 8 to 16 can be immunized.

The goal is to get as many customers vaccinated within 14 days of their possible exposure, officials said Wednesday. Otherwise, the shot won't work, so they've set up clinics through the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

"Upon being informed of the incident, the Springfield Red Robin took all safety measures to ensure the well being of our guests and team members including arranging the inoculation of all Springfield team members with the immune globulin prophylaxis shot," Red Robin Gourmet Burgers officials said in a statement.

The restaurant now is considered safe, health department officials said. The city of Springfield, in southwest Missouri, has about 160,000 residents.