When we patronize restaurants, we expect that the people in charge have taken appropriate steps to ensure that the food we consume will be safe and free of adulterants. What fewer patrons realize, however, is that these safety measures extend to ensuring that the employees and servers who prepare and deliver our food are free of diseases and infections that could easily contaminate us and our families. Recent reports have indicated that there are at least 135 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A outbreaks in Hawaii, according to the Hawaii State Department of Health. This represents over 40 additional cases since the department issued an update during the last week of July.
According to this recent update, one of the affected victims in the rampant and ongoing outbreak of the dangerous Hepatitis A virus includes an employee who works at a Chili’s restaurant location in Oahu. Another employee includes a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant. Both of these employees have had substantial exposure to the general public. Also, considering that Hawaii is a popular tourist destination, it is highly likely that someone who has come into contact with these two affected individuals or another carrier of the virus has since returned home and come into contact with countless other individuals. According to a Hawaii State Epidemiologist, neither the employee at Chili’s nor the flight attendant have been linked to any additional outbreaks, and neither outlet is being deemed a source of the outbreak.
Another restaurant, however, was not so lucky. Employees at Baskin-Robbins, a Taco Bell location, Cosco Bakery, and a sushi restaurant were also identified as carrying Hepatitis A. Nearly 25 employees at the sushi restaurant, Sushi Shiono, tested positive as carriers of Hepatitis A.
If you have consumed food at a location linked to this outbreak or any other outbreak, you should immediately contact your health care provider to receive prompt medical treatment. It is critical that you monitor your health and look for any potential symptoms for at least 50 days following the potential point of exposure. Also, if you think you may have been exposed, you should wash your hands frequently, especially after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, or preparing food. Hepatitis A typically manifests through symptoms like loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, dark urine, yellow skin and eyes, and diarrhea.
If you contract Hepatitis A as a result of coming into contact with an affected food service professional, you can bring a claim against the restaurant or employer to seek compensation for your damages, including missed paychecks, past and future medical expenses, and any other related items of damages.
At Moll Law Group, we have substantial experience litigating claims involving negligence in food preparation and handling as well as food contamination. This can be a complex process when it comes to identifying the individuals who carried the virus or who failed to use appropriate measures. We can assist you through each step of the claims process to ensure that you assert your right to the full amount of compensation to which you may be entitled. Representing clients throughout the U.S., including in New York, Texas, California, and Illinois, we offer a free consultation to discuss your situation. Call us now at 412-362-1700 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.