Costco notifies 2,700 customers of possible Hepatitis A exposure
State health officials notified Costco this week that one of its workers recently tested positive for Hepatitis A.
HONOLULU - State health officials notified Costco this week that one of its workers recently tested positive for Hepatitis A. The employee worked at the Hawaii Kai Bakery between June 16 and June 18.
But the Health Department said its focused on products that may have been sold between June 16 and June 20. It added extra days taking account the shelf life of the baked goods. It stresses the risk to the public is very low, but Costco is taking steps.
"As a precaution, Costco is contacting 2,700 people who may have purchased any of the affected product during that period of time," said Dr. Melissa Viray of the State Health Department.
Costco said it’s started notifying customers Thursday by mail and by phone
"While it's possible is that the employee may have handled your product, Costco has a very strict policy of no bare hand contact with ready- to- eat foods," said Craig Wilson, Vice-President of Quality Control for Costco.
Costco is offering a refund on product bought during the affected time period. And if you shared that product with friends or family, you should share that information with the state health department.
"These food establishments are not the source of the outbreak. In fact, we have not yet identified a single associated case with these establishments, which is a good thing," said Viray.
Last week, KITV reported that one person who tested positive for Hepatitis A has died, but the health department can’t say positively say if was due to the virus, since the individual had other health issues.
"We can say there is an individual who had Hep A and other problems who then expired. I don't think we can say what part Hep A played in that person’s death," said Viray.
The count so far, in this outbreak is still at 93 cases. The health department hopes to pinpoint the source soon.
"The message we continue to get out there is his is call to action for everyone that hand hygiene is critical, hand hygiene in food preparation, before you consume food, and when you are making food and in general is critical in the providing transmission of diseases like Hep A," said Viray.
It's a critical call to action to protect yourself and others.