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NJ ShopRite customers could have been exposed to hepatitis A: officials

Posted: 1:48 PM, Nov 05, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-05 15:50:11-05

SOMERVILLE, N.J. — An employee at a Somerville, New Jersey ShopRite had hepatitis A while he was working in the store’s deli, New Jersey health officials said Monday, urging customers to take notice.

The Somerset County Department of Health confirmed the hepatitis A case, and is working with the New Jersey Department of Health and Wakefern Corporation, ShopRite’s parent company, to notify customers.

Officials say the employee was working during the “infectious period”, when they were able to spread the virus to others, from Oct. 13 to Oct. 30.

Any items purchased from the in-store deli (Appy) at the Somerville ShotRite location during that time should be thrown away, officials said.

In addition, anyone that may have eaten items purchased from the deli and who were not previously vaccinated against hepatitis A should get the vaccine as soon as possible, but no later than Nov. 13.

The Somerset County Department of Health will host a special walk-in clinic to provide free hepatitis A vaccinations at the county Human Services Building, 27 Warren Street, Somerville, from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 7. Free parking is available in the parking deck next to the building.

Your healthcare provider can vaccinate you against hepatitis A. Vaccines are also available from the ShopRite pharmacy. If you believe you’re at risk and do not have access to health care or insurance, Somerset County officials urge you to call Zufall Health at 908-526-2335.

ShopRite released a statement:

“The ShopRite of Somerville was recently notified by the New Jersey State Department of Health (NJDOH) and the Somerset County Health Department that an associate who worked in the deli department tested positive for hepatitis A. At this time, no additional illnesses have been reported and the risk of exposure and infection is low. This is an isolated incident at one store and we are working directly with NJDOH and the Somerset County Health Department to take all necessary actions.

The safety of our customers and associates is our highest priority. As soon as we received notification from the departments of health, we took immediate action to deep clean and sanitize the store, including all knives, cases, and equipment and work surfaces per required food safety protocols. All deli meats, cheeses or sandwiches from the deli department that may have been handled by the associate in question are no longer in the store.  We are notifying our associates and customers of the ShopRite of Somerville.
Hepatitis A vaccine may be obtained from your health care provider. If you have no access to a health care provider or insurance, you may call Zufall Health at 908-526-2335 for more care information.”