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Customers of Six Detroit Restaurants Warned to Get Hepatitis A Vaccinations

Illustration of bacteria and hepatitis A virus

The Detroit area is dealing with a significant Hepatitis A outbreak. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reports 630 known cases in Southeast Michigan in 2017, twenty of them resulting in death. There were 150 cases diagnosed in the city of Detroit alone last year. Public health officials are especially troubled by the number of food handlers who have been infected with the disease.

The Detroit Health Department has been sending out alerts, warning the public about restaurants with infected food handlers. On October 30 they announced they were investigating two separate cases of Hepatitis A, one at the Firewater Bar and Grill and a second at a Little Caesars restaurant. 

"The Detroit Health Department is conducting a thorough investigation of both establishments to ensure appropriate food handing [sic] and cleaning protocols are being followed," the alert said. "The Detroit Health Department has notified both establishments that infected employees are not to return to work until approved by their doctor. Both employees stopped working at the establishments once the diagnosis was confirmed. Both establishments have been cooperative with the investigation."

A month later the health department announced that a McDonald's food handler had been infected. "Those who consumed food and beverages from McDonald’s in Detroit located at 2889 West Grand Blvd from November 8th through November 22nd (exposure period) should consult their primary care provider to receive the Hepatitis A vaccine as early as possible, and before December 6, 2017," the alert warned.