Attorneys Call for Mandatory Hepatitis A Vaccinations for all Foodservice Workers

The attorneys at Marler Clark are once again calling on restaurants and caterers nation-wide to vaccinate employees against hepatitis A. The call comes after reports that an employee of Wolfgang Puck Catering was diagnosed with an acute hepatitis A infection; the employee reportedly worked at nearly a dozen events, including the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue party on February 14.

Guests who ate raw food at events catered by Wolfgang Puck Catering between February 14 and 20 were encouraged to receive Immune globulin injections to prevent becoming infected with hepatitis A. Because Immune globulin is only effective within fourteen days of exposure, today was the last day for guests at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue party on February 14th to receive their inoculations.

“This most recent exposure comes on the heels of other exposures around the country, and provides further support for mandatory hepatitis A vaccinations for all foodservice workers,” said William Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark. “In the first two months of 2007, thousands of restaurant patrons have been exposed to hepatitis A and have been forced to stand in line at health department clinics or contact their health care providers to prevent an infection that they never would have been exposed to in the first place if food workers were vaccinated against hepatitis A industry-wide.”

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all children be vaccinated against hepatitis A.

“While the CDC recommendation is a start, it will be many years until the kids receiving those vaccinations become restaurant workers,” Marler continued. “It is in the restaurant and food service industry’s best interest to vaccinate all workers against hepatitis A now.”