Starbucks worker in NJ contracts hepatitis A; customers urged to get vaccinated

Health officials in New Jersey are urging Starbucks customers to get vaccinated against hepatitis A after an employee tested positive for the virus. 

The Camden County Health Department (CCHD) on Friday advised customers who visited the Starbucks in Gloucester Township from Nov. 4 to Nov. 13 to get the hepatitis A vaccine “as soon as possible.”

In a statement, Starbucks has said it is "working closely with Camden County Health Department and are fully in compliance with all requirements. There is no evidence that any customers or partners were affected,” according to USA Today.

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According to county officials, hundreds of residents showed up at a pop-up vaccine clinic near the Starbucks location on Friday and Saturday after learning about the employee working days after contracting the virus, The Washington Post reported.

Camden County Health Department officer Paschal Nwako said in a statement the Starbucks store was closed in response to the positive test, saying an investigation found no evidence that food safety protocols were compromised. 

“The county health department has been working closely with the patient and the staff at the Starbucks to address the situation," Nwako said in the statement.  

“Our highest priority is ensuring everyone involved remains safe and healthy. The patient is not currently working, and close contacts have been identified,” Nwako added. 

Hepatitis A usually spreads when humans come in contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms of hepatitis A can last up for two months and include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain and jaundice, the CDC noted.