Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A

Hillsborough County health officials are encouraging patrons of the Sandpiper Grille on 1702 S Pebble Beach Blvd. in Sun City Center to get vaccinated for hepatitis A after a positive case of hepatitis A was identified in a food service worker.

The vaccine is recommended for anyone who ate or drank between March 20 – 24 at the restaurant.

On March 30, 2019, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County (DOH-Hillsborough) received lab confirmation that a person tested positive for hepatitis A and immediately began conducting an epidemiological investigation.

During the investigation it was confirmed that the worker handled food as a normal part of their work duties.

During the investigation food handling practices that could have potentially exposed patrons to hepatitis A were found.

A hotline has been set up for people who may have questions. The number to call is (813) 307-8004.

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill. Contamination of food (this can include frozen and undercooked food) by hepatitis A virus can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking.