DHHS encourages safety measures to prevent spread of Hepatitis A
As the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services assists Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties in their response to a case of Hepatitis A in a food handler, it is important to remind people to always take precautions when preparing food, whether at home or at a restaurant.
The simple act of thoroughly washing your hands before and during the preparation of meals can prevent the spread of Hepatitis A and other food-borne diseases. Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds. All surfaces should be washed, including the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails. This is especially important after using the restroom and before handling food. Food service workers should always have gloves on when coming in contact with ready to eat foods (foods that do not need to be cooked or foods that have already been cooked.)
In addition, the best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination. According to the CDC, vaccination is recommended for all children starting at age 1, for travelers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus. For information about the vaccination, contact a health care professional or your local health department.
For more information about Hepatitis A:
For more information about food preparation safety and North Carolina regulations:
- NC Environmental Health Section
- NC Food Code Manual
- NC Food Service Codes 15A NCAC 18A.2600
- Educational Videos for Food Service Employees