HAMILTON (AP) — A restaurant in Mercer County was cited for hand-washing violations a month before a worker tested positive for hepatitis A.

Rosa's Restaurant in Hamilton (Mercer County) (Google Street View)

The Trentonian  obtained an Oct. 8 food inspection report for Rosa's Restaurant in Hamilton.

The restaurant was listed as out of compliance for employees washing their hands in a timely proper manner. An inspector also faulted the eatery for not providing proper towels and workers were observed handling food with bare hands.

A worker was sickened in November.

"When he did, he reported immediately to a doctor, not to work," restaurant owner Rosa Spera told the newspaper in an email. "When I learned of it, I took immediate action to take every precaution. With the guidance of the Hamilton Health Department, we threw away all open food and had the township observe our deep cleaning of all food areas."

The worker was hospitalized for a week and found to have hepatitis A.

Three other people who ate there contracted the virus, but officials can't say there was a direct link to the original case.

Since the first case was reported, health officials have visited the restaurant unannounced four times and inspection reports have improved.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hepatitis A is spread when an infected person doesn't wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom and touches other objects or food. It also can be spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the virus.


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