EDMONTON — Health officials are warning that customers of a restaurant with locations in Edmonton and St. Albert may have been exposed to hepatitis A.
Alberta Health Services says a food handler working at Edo Japan at Manning Town Centre in Edmonton and Tudor Glen in St. Albert has tested positive for hepatitis A.
It says people who ate food from these locations between June 13-18 and June 21-28 may have been exposed to the virus.
AHS says the risk to the public is low but advises anyone who ate there at those times should monitor themselves and their family until Aug. 17.
Symptoms to watch out for
Symptoms may include fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever followed by dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools, and yellowing of eyes and skin several days later.
If people develop the symptoms in the specified time period, they are asked to contact Health Link at 811 immediately.
"While we believe the risk to the public is low, hepatitis A is a serious infection,'' says Dr. Joanna Oda, medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services, Edmonton Zone.
Oda says there is no ongoing risk of infection associated with either Edo locations. Both have been cleaned, inspected, and approved as safe to operate by AHS public health inspectors.
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. If an infected person does not properly wash his or her hands after using the bathroom, the virus can be transmitted through food and beverages prepared by the infected individual.
Illness can occur within 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus, but usually does within 28 to 30 days.
Individuals can be infectious one to two weeks before symptoms occur until at least one week after the onset of illness.
There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A, but it can be prevented through immunization.
Also on HuffPost:
Millions of people fall ill every year and many die as a result of eating unsafe food. Diarrhoeal diseases alone kill an estimated 1.5 million children annually, and most of these illnesses are attributed to contaminated food or drinking water. Proper food preparation can prevent most foodborne diseases.
Infections caused by contaminated food have a much higher impact on populations with poor or fragile health status and can easily lead to serious illness and death. For infants, pregnant women, the sick and the elderly, the consequences of foodborne disease are usually more severe and may be fatal.
Today’s food supply is complex and involves a range of different stages including on-farm production, slaughtering or harvesting, processing, storage, transport and distribution before the food reaches the consumers.
Globalisation of food production and trade is making the food chain longer and complicates foodborne disease outbreak investigation and product recall in case of emergency.
To improve food safety, a multitude of different professionals are working together, making use of the best available science and technologies. Different governmental departments and agencies, encompassing public health, agriculture, education and trade, need to collaborate and communicate with each other and engage with the civil society including consumer groups.
Food contamination has far reaching effects beyond direct public health consequences – it undermines food exports, tourism, livelihoods of food handlers and economic development, both in developed and developing countries.
Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global health concern. Overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in agriculture and animal husbandry, in addition to human clinical uses, is one of the factors leading to the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in animals may be transmitted to humans via food.
Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, industry, producers, academia, and consumers. Everyone has a role to play. Achieving food safety is a multi-sectoral effort requiring expertise from a range of different disciplines – toxicology, microbiology, parasitology, nutrition, health economics, and human and veterinary medicine. Local communities, women’s groups and school education also play an important role.
People should make informed and wise food choices and adopt adequate behaviors. They should know common food hazards and how to handle food safely, using the information provided in food labelling.
The most common symptoms of foodborne disease are stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea. Food contaminated with heavy metals or with naturally occurring toxins can also cause long-term health problems including cancer and neurological disorders.