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Prevent Hepatitis A

Overview
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Hepatitis A virus outbreaks have occurred in three California counties with over 500 cases confirmed since November 2016. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease that spreads from person-to-person, causing serious illness, and even death. The virus is transmitted through feces, either hand-to-hand or hand-to-food.

No cases have been identified in San Mateo County; however, it is very important to follow the steps listed below to prevent an outbreak at your business.

1. Increase Hand Washing:

  • Employees must wash hands and arms with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; thoroughly rinse with clean running water, and properly dry hands and arms.
  • Wash hands before putting on gloves, preparing, serving food, and handling utensils.
  • Wash hands after sneezing, coughing, using or cleaning the restroom, or engaging in any activity that may contaminate hands.
  • Ensure hand washing signs are posted in bathrooms and at all appropriate locations.
  • Soap and paper towels must be in restrooms at all times. Hand Sanitizers will not protect against Hepatitis A.

2. Exclude Sick Employees:

  • Sick employees must be excluded from work, especially if they report: Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain 
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine or stools
  • Diarrhea symptoms

3. Follow Cleaning Guidelines:

In addition to your regular cleaning protocols, we encourage you to enhance your cleaning by disinfecting the following surfaces by mixing 500 ppm bleach (2½ Tablespoons) with 1 gallon of water every 8 hours:

  • Restroom surfaces (wear gloves!)
  • Doorknobs
  • Tables and chairs
  • Kitchen surfaces
  • High chairs

For more information or questions:

Call Environmental Health Services at (650) 372-6200, or email retailfood@smcgov.org.

Additional Resources:

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