Alberta Health Services issues warning after confirmed hepatitis A confirmed at Original Joe's in Strathmore

Alberta Health Services is warning patrons who ate at an Original Joe’s in Strathmore after confirming a food handler has hepatitis A.

Risk of infection is low says health officer, but vaccine available at several clinics

Hepatitis A vaccines are being offered to patrons who ate at the Original Joe's in Strathmore after a confirmed case in a food handler. (CBC)

Alberta Health Services is warning patrons who ate at an Original Joe's in Strathmore after confirming a kitchen worker has hepatitis A. 

Patrons who consumed food at the restaurant and bar, located at #8, 100 Ranch Market between June 9 to 19, are eligible for a hepatitis A vaccine. Those who only consumed beverages don't require the vaccine. 

The agency has confirmed that one of the restaurant's kitchen workers contracted the disease, likely while traveling. 
Alberta Health says odds are low that the worker has spread the disease but because Hepatitis A can contaminate food, it's issued a warning to restaurant patrons.

"While we believe the risk to the public is low, hepatitis A is a serious infection," said Dr. Judy MacDonald, Medical Officer of Health, for AHS Calgary Zone in a news release.

"We say there is a low risk, but just because there is a possibility, we're recommending this Hepatitis A vaccine for those potentially exposed, " MacDonald said at a news conference on Monday afternoon.

Vaccines administered within 14 days of exposure can greatly reduce the risk for patrons who consumed food during this time at the restaurant, added MacDonald.

Original Joe's says it could have served 200 people a day — so they are potentially looking for a 2,200 people.

Several clinics in Calgary, Chestermere and Strathmore will offer the vaccine on June 23 and June 24 only, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

There is no risk to people who have had hepatitis A in the past or who previously received two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine.