The Snohomish Health District required the immediate closure of Ashiya Teriyaki located at 1233 164th St SW in Lynnwood following a confirmed case of hepatitis A in a foodworker. People who ate at this restaurant between August 2 and August 15 may be at risk for developing hepatitis A, and should contact their healthcare provider to get a hepatitis A vaccine or see if other treatment is needed.
This case does not appear to linked to the previously reported outbreak in Washington state.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can vary in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and more severe cases lasting 4-6 weeks or longer. Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice, and may have an illness so mild that it can go unnoticed. However, even mildly ill people can still be highly infectious.
The early signs and symptoms of hepatitis A are:
• Loss of appetite
• Dark urine
• Jaundice (yellowing of eyes or skin).
Hepatitis A virus is spread as a result of fecal contamination, and may be spread from person to person through close contact or through food handling. The virus can be spread by contaminated food and beverages.
The District is working closely with Ashiya Teriyaki to ensure all food is discarded and the establishment is properly cleaned. Upon completion, and after passing an inspection, the restaurant will be allowed to reopen.
As a reminder, if you think you got sick after eating in any restaurant, please contact the Communicable Disease Surveillance line at 425.339.5278.
To prevent the spread of disease, thorough handwashing after using the bathroom and prior to food preparation is key. Handwashing should include vigorous soaping of the hands. All surfaces should be washed including the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails. Hands should be thoroughly rinsed with running water and dried completely.
All preventable by a hepatitis A vaccination – the only foodborne illness that is vaccine preventable. Here are a few examples of cases involving ill workers and the impact on customers and restaurants.
In 2017 Bartaco in New York at least 5 people sickened with Hepatitis A many of who were hospitalized with hundreds of thousands in medical bills and wage loss.
McDonalds in Skagit County in 1998 was implicated in a cluster of Hepatitis A illnesses linked to an exposure by a Hepatitis A positive assistant manager.
In 1999 nearly 40 became ill after being exposed to a Hepatitis A positive working at two Subway locations in the Seattle area. Several of the patrons were hospitalized with one young boy suffering acute liver failure requiring a liver transplant.
A Carls Jr. was hit in Spokane in 2000 with a Hepatitis A cluster that sickened over a dozen after being exposed to an ill worker.
In 2001 a Massachusetts D’Angelo’s Hepatitis A ill employee was linked to several customers who became ill after being exposed to contaminated food served at the restaurant.
A Hepatitis A positive employee at Maple Lawn Dairy in New York exposed at least six customers in 2004, including one patron who suffered acute liver failure and died.
In July and August of 2009, public health officials in the Quad-City region of Illinois identified at least 32 confirmed cases of hepatitis A among residents of Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Warren, and Woodford Counties. People became ill after eating food purchased from the Milan McDonald’s restaurant and then developing a Hepatitis A infection.