An employee of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant at 13321 Shelbyville Rd. has been diagnosed with acute hepatitis A.
Customers who ate at this Texas Roadhouse from April 11, 2018 to April 25, 2018 may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. While the risk of contracting hepatitis A from eating at this restaurant is low, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness is issuing this advisory out of an abundance of caution. The hepatitis A outbreak remains centered among the homeless and those who use drugs.
When a food service worker is diagnosed with hepatitis A, he or she is immediately excluded from work and not allowed to return without release from his or her medical provider. Additionally, all employees at the establishment are vaccinated and disinfection and sanitation practices are followed. Texas Roadhouse scored 96-A and 97-A on its last two health inspections.
Symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). People can become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.
Hepatitis A is usually transmitted by putting something in your mouth such as an object, food or drink, which has been in contact with the feces of an infected person. In November, the Kentucky Department for Public Health declared a statewide hepatitis A outbreak. Since the outbreak began there have been 327 cases diagnosed in Louisville and nearly 27,000 vaccinated.
“While we have had a very small number of food workers diagnosed with hepatitis A in our community, there still has been NO foodborne transmission,” said Dr. Lori Caloia, medical director. “Also, our restaurant industry has really stepped up to the plate to get their workers immunized. About 5,000 local food service employees have been vaccinated against hepatitis A.”
The best ways to prevent hepatitis A infection are to get vaccinated and to practice good handwashing. “Washing your hands thoroughly and often with warm water and soap, especially before preparing meals or eating, after using the bathroom or changing a diaper is a proven way to prevent the spread of diseases,” Dr. Caloia added. “Hand sanitizer is not as effective as hand washing against hepatitis A.”
For more information about hepatitis A visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/health-wellness/hepatitis or call 211.