Possible hepatitis A exposure at Edible Arrangements in Murray

Apr 18, 2018, 12:58 PM | Updated: Apr 19, 2018, 12:25 am

MURRAY, Utah – The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food closed the Edible Arrangements store in Murray on Tuesday after it was determined that an employee infected with hepatitis A handled fresh fruit for more than three weeks.

Customers who consumed any food from the store between March 21 and April 13 are encouraged to call 385-468-4636 for more information and instructions on whether they should be vaccinated.

The Edible Arrangements store located at 5211 S. State Street is closed for cleaning, according to the health department, because of possible exposure to hepatitis A.

The Salt Lake County Health Department says the injection must be given within 14 days of possible exposure to be effective. “So people who ate items from this location between April 4 and April 13 are eligible to receive the injection,” the department said in a news release.

However, the health department says it’s too late for those who ate food from the store between March 21 and April 3 to get the injection. Those who were already fully vaccinated do not need to receive a new vaccine.

More information about hepatitis A and vaccines.

The store, located at 5211 S. State Street, will be cleaned and sanitized before reopening, according to the health department. Also, all employees will need to be vaccinated against hepatitis A before returning to work.

During the timeframe, about 600 arrangements were sold, the health department estimates. It’s believed that the total number of people possibly affected is much more than just the customers who ordered the bouquets of fresh fruit.

An employee working while ill with hepatitis A, possibly exposed customers to the virus at the Murray location of Edible Arrangements.

“The problem is that we usually buy Edible Arrangements for someone else,” Dr. Dagmar Vitek, medical director for the Salt Lake Co. Health Department, told KSL. “Usually it’s a gift or we bring it to the party, so the number of people who actually consumed the food from this store during this time period could be much higher than the 600.”

Health department officials say the sick employee’s confirmed case of hepatitis A looks to be linked to an ongoing outbreak in Utah and several other states. Since last summer, there have been 153 cases in Salt Lake County tied to the outbreak.

March 21 through April 13, about 600 arrangements of fruit were sold at the Murray location of Edible Arrangements, the health department estimates.

Because of the long incubation period for hepatitis A that can last up to seven weeks, Vitek said it’s not known yet if there are any confirmed cases linked the this Edible Arrangements location. However, she warns that people can spread the virus for three weeks before showing any symptoms.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Low fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow skin
  • Yellow eyes
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Possible hepatitis A exposure at Edible Arrangements in Murray