Philadelphia ShopRite Employee Tests Positive for Hepatitis A: Health Department Urges Vaccination

Philadelphia ShopRite Employee Tests Positive for Hepatitis A: Health Department Urges Vaccination

Customers who handled raw meat or consumed undercooked meat from a ShopRite in Northeast Philadelphia are advised to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has launched an investigation after a confirmed case of Hepatitis A was reported in an employee at a ShopRite located at 6301 Oxford St. Health officials are urging individuals who handled raw beef or pork or consumed undercooked meat from the store’s meat counter between January 4 and January 21 to receive the Hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible.

Potential Exposure and Vaccine Recommendations

During the specified period, customers who purchased and handled raw beef or pork from the ShopRite in question are advised to take precautionary measures. The Health Department recommends receiving the Hepatitis A vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus. However, individuals who have previously received two doses of the vaccine or have been infected with Hepatitis A in the past are exempt from vaccination.

No Additional Cases Reported

Health officials have confirmed that no additional cases of Hepatitis A have been reported, and no other stores are affected. The investigation is focused solely on the ShopRite located at 6301 Oxford St.

Proper Disposal and Safety Measures

As a precautionary measure, individuals who purchased beef or pork from the store during the specified period and froze it are advised to discard the items. Freezing does not kill the Hepatitis A virus. Additionally, health officials recommend heating food and liquids to temperatures of 185°F (85°C) for at least 1 minute to effectively kill the virus.

Free Hepatitis A Vaccine Offered

In response to the confirmed case, the Health Department is offering free Hepatitis A vaccines on Saturday, January 27, from 8 a.m. to noon at the district health center located at 2230 Cottman Ave. Individuals can also contact their healthcare providers or visit a pharmacy to receive the vaccine.

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Symptoms and Transmission of Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that affects the liver. It can be transmitted when an infected person fails to thoroughly wash their hands after using the bathroom and then handles food. The virus can be spread from two weeks before symptoms appear until one week after the onset of symptoms. Symptoms typically develop two to six weeks after exposure and can range from mild cases of diarrhea and vomiting to more severe symptoms such as jaundice, fever, low energy, stomach pain, and dark urine.

Conclusion: The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is actively investigating a case of Hepatitis A in an employee at a ShopRite in Northeast Philadelphia. Customers who handled raw beef or pork or consumed undercooked meat from the store’s meat counter between January 4 and January 21 are strongly urged to receive the Hepatitis A vaccine. Health officials have not reported any additional cases and are offering free vaccinations to the public. It is essential to take precautionary measures, such as proper disposal of frozen meat and ensuring food is heated to a sufficient temperature to kill the virus. If symptoms of Hepatitis A develop, individuals are advised to seek medical attention promptly.