Nearby Restaurants React to Hep A Outbreak in Pacific Beach, County Offers Vaccinations

Businesses neighboring World Famous restaurant are confident they are in the clear

A Hepatitis A warning in Pacific Beach, issued after an employee at World Famous restaurant on Pacific Beach Drive was diagnosed with the virus, has spread concern among restaurants in the area. 

Businesses near World Famous told NBC 7 Friday, they are also on alert.

Jeff Shrum is a manager at El Prez, a popular rooftop restaurant just a block away from World Famous.

"I'm not sure what happened over there, but seems pretty unlucky," he said.

An employee notified World Famous they contracted the virus, and shortly after, the restaurant temporarily shut down and hired a professional Hazmat crew to thoroughly clean and sanitize the area. The restaurant closed their doors on Tuesday, and by Wednesday, they were back in business.

The week before being notified about the contamination, World Famous had been given a routine health inspection and initially scored an 83 out of 100 on Sept. 8. After being re-evaluated on Sept. 11, the restaurant scored a 93.

On Aug. 25, the county issued a recommendation informing that anyone who handles food should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A.

But the California Restaurant Association says the law ties the hands of restaurant employers and they can only encourage employees to get vaccinated.

Sharokina Shams from the California Restaurant Association released a statement to NBC 7, saying:

"The county…issued a recommendation that food handlers be added to the list of other groups being encouraged to get vaccinated. Not only did restaurants individually act on their own to carry out this recommendation, the California Restaurant Association also immediately communicated the information from the county to hundreds of restaurants."

According to the county's website, food handlers can get the vaccination from their "occupational health provider, health care provider, or a local pharmacy that carries the vaccine. A prescription is not needed to get the vaccination. The vaccine is also available to uninsured or under-insured individuals for no cost at all County public health centers."

The county told NBC 7, employees at World Famous have already received the proper vaccination.

The dates and times of possible exposure are as follows:

  • August 28, 29, and 30 between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • September 3 and 4 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • September 10 and 11 between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Anyone who may have visited the restaurant between the possible hours of exposure will be able to receive a vaccination at the County's North Central Public Health Center on Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The center is located at 5055 Ruffin Road.

For more information, you can visit county's website.

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