Birmingham restaurant worker diagnosed with Hepatitis A; Virus warning for Social Kitchen customers

Posted at 2:04 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 17:20:57-04

A restaurant worker at Birmingham's Social Kitchen & Bar was recently diagnosed with a Hepatitis A infection, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said today.

The news release from the MDHHS states the person works in food service at the Social Kitchen and Bar on E. Maple Road.

Social chef Zack Sklar spoke to 7 Action News and said, "She was a kitchen team member."

"One of our team members was sick," he said. "We made sure to send them home right away."

Customers who ate or drank at the restaurant between July 16 and August 6 may have been exposed to the virus and are being urged to be on the lookout for symptoms. 

Hepatitis A symptoms include abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, yellow skin and yellow eyes. 

Health officials say the onset of symptoms is usually 15 to 50 days from exposure. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms is advised to stay home and call their doctor. 

A vaccination for Hepatitis A is available, and could be effective if given within two weeks after exposure, according to the MDHHS. 

Chef Sklar said the restaurant has worked closely with the health department. It is open and serving food and beverages. "The public health and safety is our number one priority," he said. 

"We're glad that no one who has eaten at Social so far has gotten sick," he stressed.

Social Kitchen issued the following statement:

The safety of our patrons and employees is always our highest priority. An employee at Social Kitchen and Bar was diagnosed with Hepatitis A on August 6. Immediately upon learning of the diagnosis, we contacted the Health Department. Fortunately, no one else has reported any illness. On August 8, the Health Department inspected the restaurant and authorized us to remain open. The restaurant is 100% compliant with Health Department regulations and will continue to maintain the highest food safety standards.