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Off Tha Bone BBQ restaurant worker tests positive for hepatitis A, Dept. of Health says

Worker may have exposed customers May 14
Posted: 10:53 AM, Jun 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-04 05:41:07-04
WPTV-OFF-THE-BONE-BBQ.jpg

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A worker at a West Palm Beach restaurant has tested positive for hepatitis A, health officials confirm.

According to the Florida Department of Health, a food service worker at Off Tha Bone BBQ, located at 1516 N. Tamarind Ave., was infected with the contagious virus.

The employee may have exposed customers on May 14 only. If you ate at the restaurant on May 14, watch for these symptoms of hepatitis A:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale white stools
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention right away.

"Safety is one of our number one concerns," said Daniel Spann, owner off Off Tha Bone BBQ. "Since we have been notified of the outbreak from the health department, we've been working closely with them and have resolved all issues regarding the hepatitis outbreak at our location."

Spann added the infected worker only worked at the restaurant for one day. He said the employee never exhibited any symptoms while working at the restaurant.

"We continue to work with the health department to resolve any questions or concerns," said Spann.

🔽 WATCH INTERVIEW WITH RESTAURANT'S OWNER 🔽

RELATED: Questions about hepatitis A outbreak | Questions about hepatitis A vaccine | Ask the Pediatrician: Hepatitis A

According to the Florida Dept. of Health, here are the latest number of cases in our viewing area:

  • Martin County: 22
  • Palm Beach County: 21
  • St. Lucie County: 17
  • Okeechobee County: 3
  • Indian River County: 1

Last month, a dishwasher at Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill, located at 209 6th Street in West Palm Beach, also tested positive for hepatitis A.

Doctors said the best way to protect yourself from getting hepatitis A is to get vaccinated and wash your hands after going to the bathroom and before handling food. The hepatitis A vaccine is available at doctor's offices, urgent care centers, pharmacies, and county health departments.

Health officials said the incubation time for hepatitis A is 15 to 50 days. That means you would start seeing symptoms between 15 and 50 days after you were exposed to the virus.

If you have questions about hepatitis A, call the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County at 561-840-4568 or 561-671-4184.

Big Mama’s House of Sweets will be hosting a flash mob at Off Tha Bone BBQ at 2 p.m. in support of the business.