Hepatitis A is a virus that is found in the feces of infected individuals. It can contaminate many types of food in addition to water, and is commonly linked with ready-to-eat foods; however, it has also been linked to shellfish that has been contaminated by sewage.
The virus is primarily transmitted to food when an infected foodhandler touches food or equipment with fingers that have feces on them. While eating only a small amount of the virus can make a person sick, the symptoms may not show for weeks even though the person can be very infections. Cooking DOES NOT destroy Hepatitis A.
The most common symptoms of Hepatitis A are: fever, general weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice (appears later).
Aside from the most important prevention measure (practicing good person hygiene), other prevention methods include:
1. Keep employees who have jaundice out of the operation.
2. Keep employees who have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A out of the operation.
3. Wash Hands.
4. Minimize bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food.
5. Purchase shellfish from approved, reputable suppliers.
If you have any questions about anything that I present in these lessons, or have a question about anything regarding food safety, please feel free to contact me.
Tomorrow's lesson: What is Norovirus gastroenteritis?