A food handler at a Somerset County ShopRite worked while infected with hepatitis A and may exposed shoppers to the highly contagious virus, health officials announced Monday
The employee, who worked that the Somerville store’s deli, was contagious between Oct. 13 and Oct. 30 so anyone who bought food from the deli should throw it away, according to a joint statement the New Jersey and Somerset County health departments.
Anyone who ate anything from the store’s deli between those dates and was not previously vaccinated against Hepatitis A should consider getting a vaccine as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks after eating food from this deli, the statement said. For most people, the latest date would be Nov. 13.
Also, anyone who used the restrooms at the ShopRite between the October dates was also asked to vaccinate themselves within the same time frame, according to the statement.
The vaccine is available at the store’s pharmacy or can be administered by any concerned customer’s doctor, officials said.
Uninsured customers who may have been exposed and were looking to be vaccinated, were asked to contact Zufall Health at 908-526-2335 and mention the ShopRite Hepatitis A incident.
Hepatitis A usually causes only a mild illness that lasts a few weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In severe cases, illness can last longer — upwards of around a few months and in rare cases, the virus can kill.
Most often, people contract the virus after eating, drinking, or ingesting anything else that’s been contaminated with “small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person,” according to the CDC.