When there is a chance to protect public health you gotta go public with all the info you have, when you have it. Sometimes new information arises that changes things and makes it look like officials got it wrong – when they didn’t.
Last week, according to The Chronicle, a food handler tested positive for hep A – and it turned out to be a false positive.
A reported case of Hepatitis A at the Chehalis Shop’n Kart last week has been ruled a false positive by county health officials, meaning a worker in the store’s bakery was not infected and baked goods they handled were not contaminated.
An initial press release from the Lewis County Public Health and Social Services last week said a bakery worker tested positive for the virus, which causes an acute liver infection.
But a release issued Friday said this test was a false positive, meaning there was never an infection or risk to customers.
Shop’n Kart owner Darris McDaniel said the containment procedure cost his store thousands of dollars in product they threw away, while also damaging its reputation.
“In the future, if anything would happen again, we would ask for another test right away, because this sent up a lot of bad signals for our business when in fact it wasn’t true,” he said. “We did take the proper steps and acted very quickly.”