Red Robin Employee May Have Exposed Up To 5,000 Customers To Hepatitis A

Burger joint Red Robin may be in a bit of trouble after news broke that one of their employees may have exposed up to 5,000 customers to the hepatitis A virus.

According to the Huffington Post, country health officials confirmed that a sick worker at the Red Robin location in Springfield, Missouri tested positive for hepatitis, and anyone who ate there between May 8 and May 16 may have been infected.

Unfortunately, the employee in question worked at the Red Robin for several months prior to the discovery of the infectious disease. It is possible that several thousand other customers were exposed to hepatitis A, a contagion which upsets liver function and spreads through touch and contaminated food and water.

Hepatitis A symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, and nausea. They typically don’t appear until several weeks after exposure to the virus, according to the Mayo Clinic. Four thousand doses of hepatitis A vaccine have been shipped to Springfield as a precaution against the spread of the disease.

To their credit, Red Robin self-reported the problem to county health officials, and they provided all their employees with free health checks and inoculations

On Tuesday, Red Robin issued the following statement to the public:

“Upon being informed of the incident, the Springfield Red Robin took all safety measures to ensure the well-being of our guests and team members including arranging the inoculation of all Springfield team members with the immune globulin prophylaxis shot.”

Ame Glasgow of Brookline said she, her husband, and their two children ate at Red Robin on May 8. Glasgow said one of her kids was previously immunized, and she was waiting to hear from doctors about the other. Glasgow then said she and her husband will probably attend one of the immunization clinics that the county has set up. Despite all Red Robin and the county are doing, she is not happy:

“It is pretty upsetting to think that there weren’t enough safety precautions taken.”

Although Red Robin has done their best to cooperate in every way during the crisis, one might wonder if they will be able to restore confidence in their product. The Springfield Red Robin has since passed a state health inspection and will reopen for business. It remains to be seen how their customers will respond.

If you ate at the Springfield Red Robin between May 8 and May 16, you should be vaccinated immediately. According to county health department director Kevin Gipson, “If the vaccine is not taken within 14 days of the time exposed, it doesn’t work. So we are really on the clock, which is why we are doing this very quickly and we need your help to get the information out.”

The health department has set up a hotline for people to call if they have questions at 417-829-6200. It is staffed from 7 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

[Image via Bing]

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