Blast from the past: hep A inactivation in scallops

Raw scallops served at Genki Sushi have been fingered in a Hawaiian hep A outbreak. What if Genki had seared the scallops? According to some historic work, seared scallops aren’t probably hep A risk-reduced scallops either.

Inactivation of Hepatitis A virus in heat-treated mussels
Journal of Applied Microbiology
L. CROCI, M. CICCOZZI, D. DE MEDICI, S. DI PASQUALE, A. FIORE, A. MELE and L. TOTI.1999.Hepatitis A is a widespread infectious disease world-wide. In Italy, shellfish consumption was shown to be a major risk factor for hepatitis A infection, especially when these products are eaten raw or slightly cooked. The aim of the present study was to evaluate Hepatitis A virus (HAV) resistance in experimentally contaminated mussels treated at different temperatures (60, 80 and 100 °C) for various times. The presence of HAV was evaluated by cell culture infection and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction confirmation. The experiments, carried out on HAV suspension and contaminated mussel homogenate both containing about 105 50% tissue culture infectious dose ml−1, showed that, under our experimental conditions, the treatments at 60 °C for 30 min, 80 °C for 10 min and an immersion at 100 °C for 1 min were not sufficient to inactivate all the viruses; it was necessary to prolong the treatment at 100 °C for 2 min to completely inactivate the virus. Thus it is advisable to eat only cooked shellfish, paying particular attention to the times and temperatures used in the cooking process, since evidence suggests that the shellfish body may protect the virus from the heat effect.

Also, here’s the health department’s entire press conference on the source of the outbreak.

It was the imported scallops, served raw: 168 sick from Hep A in Hawaii

I don‘t eat raw seafood, and I don’t trust chefs on food porn programs that who think scallops are cooked by bouncing them on the floor.

raw.scallops.dillions.aug.09I do believe in vaccines, and food porn chefs should be fully vaccinated.

The Department of Health has determined that the Hepatitis A outbreak on Oahu is likely due to imported frozen scallops served raw at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai.

The restaurants were closed Monday to prevent any further illness and protect the public.

Nicole Takahashi was eating at the Waikele restaurant when it happened.

“Everything was going great until we got the news that we needed to finish and could just leave without paying for the food. We just got scared,” she told KHON2. “I had to ask why. I was scared, getting nervous, and they just got a call that there were scallops, tainted scallops, so all the Genki locations were being closed down.”

There are also Genki Sushi restaurants on Maui and Hawaii Island, but health officials say they have not been linked to any hepatitis A cases.

Health officials say the scallops were imported from another country by the distributor True World Foods, and only supplied to Genki Sushi.

As of Aug. 10, the DOH reported 168 confirmed cases of hepatitis A.

Vaccines work, especially before an outbreak: Hawaii makes it easier for restaurants to vaccinate their employees

I got mine.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) is teaming up with Hawaii Medical Assurance Association (HMAA) to ensure all restaurant employees can get vaccinated in light of an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak.

hep.aOne-hundred-thirty-five cases have been confirmed as of Aug. 3, and are largely focused on Oahu. Seven individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui, and one visitor has returned to the mainland.

The Hawaii Department of Health have been releasing a list of restaurants and food service businesses where employees were diagnosed with hepatitis A.

Health officials say there is no indication these businesses are sources of this outbreak and the likelihood that patrons will become infected is very low. However, customers were notified out of an abundance of caution and urged to contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

“If I was a restaurant operator at this point, and I have been. I’ve been a manager, I’ve been an owner, and in talking to my staff, I would say what would happen if our restaurant ended up on the news tonight or tomorrow? It would greatly impact not only the income of the restaurant, but your personal income, so we want to do what we can to avoid that,” said Gregg Fraser, HRA executive director.

Any business, not just those in the food service industry, can now contact HMAA to set up hepatitis A vaccination clinics for their employees for free with a minimum of 15 participants. A $50 fee applies for businesses with fewer than 15 participants.


Get vaccinated: Hep A in Hawaii it’s ‘probably something frozen or dried or something’

According to HawaiiNewsNow, the State Health Department has confirmed another case of Hepatitis A in a State Department of Transportation employee, raising the number of confirmed cases to 135.

hep.aThe Department of Health said on Monday that it is getting closer to finding out what is causing the outbreak.

“The indications are that whatever it is, this is not a fresh product it’s probably something that keeps for a while so frozen or dried or something,” State epidemiologist, Dr. Sarah Park said.

Case zero still unknown and get vaccinated Hawaii Hepatitis A outbreak hits 135

Hawaii News Now reports the outbreak of Hepatitis A in the islands has now sickened 135 people, the state Health Department said Wednesday.

hep.aAll cases have been in adults, and 39 have required hospitalization.

The total number of cases statewide is up by 42 people since last week. The onset of illness ranges from June 12 to July 24.

This is by far the largest outbreak of Hepatitis A in the islands in decades. State health officials said the outbreak appears to be focused on Oahu, but its source remains unclear. Seven of those who have been sickened live on the Neighbor Islands; one visitor has returned to the mainland.

Still, patrons who ate at the identified establishments during the dates of service below are being asked to seek medical advice.

Business                                 Island Location                                 Dates of service

Baskin-Robbins                    Oahu  Waikele Center                    June 17-19, 21-22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3

Chili’s Oahu                          Kapolei                                              July 10, 12, 14-15, 17-18, 20-27

Costco Bakery                      Oahu  Hawaii Kai                            June 16-20

Hawaiian Airlines                                                                            July 1-26 (see flight list)

Sushi Shiono Big Island       Waikoloa Beach Resort                   July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21

Taco Bell                                Oahu  Waipio                                   June 16-17, 20-21, 24-25, 28-30, and July 1-4, 6-7, and 11

Hawaiian sushi restaurant worker among 93 hepatitis A cases

Hawaii’s Department of Health says an outbreak of hepatitis A has grown to 93 cases, including a sushi restaurant employee.

hep.aThe department on Tuesday warned the public they may have been exposed to the disease if they ate any food from Sushi Shiono in the Waikoloa Beach Resort during certain dates between July 5 and 21.

Health officials say there’s a very low likelihood restaurant patrons will become infected. But as a precaution, they recommend unvaccinated people talk to health-care providers about options, including the hepatitis A vaccine.

The department says all of the 93 patients are adults who were exposed on Oahu.

Health officials have yet to identify the source of the outbreak.

Some food service employers have been offering the vaccine to workers.

Vaccinate: Hawaii Baskin-Robbins workers harassed, business crippled over Hepatitis A

Marisa Yamane of KHON2 reports the Baskin-Robbins at Waikele Center used to be the busiest in the state.

Now, it’s the emptiest.

baskin.robbins“That’s why we only have one person working now, because it’s really that slow,” Baskin-Robbins employee Erika Espiritu said.

On July 12, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) announced that anyone who ate at Baskin-Robbins at Waikele Center between June 17 and July 3, 2016 (actual dates: June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3), may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

That’s because one of the workers there caught the virus.

Since then, business has dropped 75 percent.

“The toughest part is having to take in all the harassment because I worked the — I might tear up — I worked the next morning and people would call and say mean stuff, and you just have to take it in, because you can’t control what people think,” Espiritu said.

She said people have told them they want to sue the store, or that they want the store to pay for their family to get vaccinated.

In fact, state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said the store is “not at fault. They should not be looked down upon. This could happen to any food establishment out there.”

“We don’t deserve to be harassed or slandered because it’s not fair. We didn’t ask for our employee to have the infection, you know,” Espiritu said.

Vaccines work: Oahu hepatitis A outbreak up to 74 cases

KHON 2 reports that according to the state Department of Health, there are 74 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in the current outbreak.

hepatits-a-vaccinationSince the last update on July 12, 2016, HDOH has identified 22 new cases of hepatitis A, 26 have required hospitalization.

All of the cases are residents of Oahu with the exception of two individuals who now live on the islands of Hawaii and Maui, but were on Oahu during their exposure period.

The onset of illness for the cases have ranged between 6/12/2016 and 7/14/2016.

The source of the outbreak remains under investigation. Identifying the source of infection is a challenge due to the long incubation period of the disease. This makes it difficult for patients to accurately recall the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place.

The site also identifies two restaurants where employees tested positive for the virus: Baskin-Robbins in Waikele and Taco Bell in Waipio.


With 52 sick vaccination is simple handwashing not so much: Hawaiian ice cream store worker confirmed with Hepatitis A, but source unknown

Gregg K. Kakesako of the Star Advertiser writes that patrons of a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in Waikele Center during the last two months may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus after one of the store’s employees was confirmed to have the disease, the state Health Department said today.

Baskin-RobbinsPeople who haven’t had the hepaptitis A vaccine or immune globulin and who consumed any food or drinks from the Waikele store on June 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 30, and July 1 and 3 should contact their healthcare providers about getting vaccinated, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure, the Health Department said in a news release.

There have been 52 cases of hepatitis A reported to and now confirmed by health officials.

All cases have been in adults on Oahu, 16 have required hospitalization.

“The source of this outbreak has still not been determined. In the meantime, we encourage all persons consider and talk to their healthcare provider about getting vaccinated,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “This case demonstrates the potential to spread hepatitis A virus to many others who remain susceptible. In an effort to stem the spread of disease, individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A infection should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.”

The head of the Hawaii Restaurant Association, Gregg Fraser, said “It’s as simple as frequent hand washing with warm water. Not only wash it in the bathroom, but when you enter the kitchen. There (are) typically 2 or 3 points of hand washing. There is a hand-washing sink in the kitchen as well.”

“If I was a restaurant manager right now, I’d make sure that all of my employees had the vaccine. I’d even pay for it,” he said.

The vaccine part makes sense. The handwashing advice with warm water is wrong.

And how happy are restaurant owners going to be if their employees actually followed all government sanctioned advice, and didn’t work when they were sick, washed their hands everytime they were supposed to, like after scratching their nose, or wore cloves and then scratched their ass.

It’s not simple.


At least 12 sick: Hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii

The state Dept. of Health reported Friday that it is investigating a cluster of at least 12 cases of hepatitis A infection in adults on Oahu.

hep.aSix have required hospitalization. Their onsets of illness have ranged from June 16 through June 27, 2016.

Health officials aren’t sure where this outbreak is coming from.

The department says this is just the beginning of the outbreak, so more cases are likely to be reported. There’s been no direct link to any of the infected patients so far.

“So we’re asking where have you been? What kind of potlucks have you been to? What celebrations? Where do you go shopping? What foods do you commonly like to eat? So it’s a lot to go over with people,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.