Somerville NJ ShopRite deli worker had hepatitis: health department

Somerville ShopRite deli worker had hepatitis, NJ health department says


Mike Deak


Bridgewater Courier News
Published 6:18 PM EST Nov 4, 2019

SOMERVILLE – The New Jersey Department of Health is working with the Somerset County Department of Health and Wakefern Corporation to notify individuals who shop at the ShopRite about a single case of hepatitis A in a food handler employed at the store.

The individual worked during the time when they were able to spread the virus to others, also known as the infectious period, from Oct.13 to 30. Any items purchased from this in-store deli should be thrown away.

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‘The safety of our customers and associates is our highest priority,” ShopRite said in a statement. “As soon as we received notification from the departments of health, we took immediate action to deep clean and sanitize the store, including all knives, cases, and equipment and work surfaces per required food safety protocols. All deli meats, cheeses or sandwiches from the deli department that may have been handled by the associate in question are no longer in the store.  We are notifying our associates and customers of the ShopRite of Somerville.”

“At this time, no additional illnesses have been reported and the risk of exposure and infection is low,” tyhe statement continued. “This is an isolated incident at one store and we are working directly with NJDOH and the Somerset County Health Department to take all necessary actions.”  

The Health Department is recommending the following:

Any items purchased from the in-store deli at ShopRite of Somerville from Oct. 13 to 30 should be thrown away.

Individuals who may have eaten items purchased at the in-store deli from the ShopRite of Somerville from Oct. 13 to 30, and who were not previously vaccinated against hepatitis A, should get the hepatitis A vaccine to prevent getting sick. To be effective, the hepatitis A vaccine should be received as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks after eating food from this deli. For most people, this date would be Nov. 13. 

Immunocompromised (persons with weakened immune systems) should talk with their healthcare provider about getting immunoglobulin or Ig instead of the vaccine.

Anyone who used the restrooms at the ShopRite of Somerville from Oct. 13 to 30, should also consider getting vaccinated. The hepatitis A vaccine should be received as soon as possible, but no later than Nov. 13.

Hepatitis A vaccine may be obtained from the ShopRite pharmacy or your health care provider. The ShopRite of Somerville has an in-store pharmacy that offers the hepatitis A vaccine. ShopRite pharmacies accept most insurance plans.

If you think you may have eaten items purchased at the in-store deli or used the restrooms at the ShopRite of Somerville and have no access to a health care provider or insurance, you may call Zufall Health at 908-526-2335 to get more information about getting care.

Zufall Health is located at 71 Fourth St.  Hours are Monday (7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Tuesday (7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Wednesday (7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Thursday (7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Friday (7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Saturday (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Be sure to mention the ShopRite hepatitis A event when you call. There may be a cost associated with your visit.

For additional questions, call the Somerset County Health Department hotline at 908-203-6014.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection.

Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms, including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, which usually resolve within two months of infection; most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A infection last for life and protect against reinfection. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to be vaccinated. 

Staff Writer Mike Deak: 908-243-6607; mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

This content was originally published here.