For the second time this year, Erie County health officials are warning about a Hepatitis A scare at a local restaurant.
Recent cases of Hepatitis A have been connected to Doino’s Pizzeria Bar & Grille restaurant on Harlem Road in Cheektowaga.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says an employee was infected and then infected other customers. Three individuals diagnosed had consumed food from the restaurant during the affected time period.
The owner of the restaurant said that they’re not fully convinced those customers were infected here. Still, they’re offering an apology.
“I’m sorry that it happened,” said Eileen Doino, the restaurant’s co-owner.
County officials say it’s very likely they were. Health inspectors say that the employee with hepatitis was been identified as being infected beforehand, but failed to disclose that he worked in a restaurant.
“If they had, we may have been able to avoid this,” Poloncarz said. “Unfortunately by law we can’t force people to reveal a work location or anything like that. So this individual had been infected and was contagious at the time they were working at the restaurant. We believe the three individuals who have Hepatitis A who consumed food from the restaurant actually contracted it because of the food handler working in the restaurant during that period.”
“This person was barely here. I’m beyond – all my employees we’re all fine,” Doino said. “Everybody is good. So I’m just amazed here at what’s happening and how it happened.”
Anyone who ate at Doino’s between August 20 and Sept. 3 should monitor themselves for symptoms.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
- Jaundice (yellow eyes, skin and dark urine)
- Belly pain
- Loss of appetite
The number of hepatitis cases in Erie County have skyrocketed in 2018. Poloncarz said there are usually only two to four cases in the county per year- and this year, the number is already 20.
In February, the Health Department warned individuals who had consumed food during a certain time period at Al-E-Oops in Lancaster or Brookdale Williamsville Senior Living Community be tested for hepatitis after a food handler who worked at both places tested positive.