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Confirmed case of Hepatitis A in Platinum Pizza employee, vaccines to be made available to patrons

County health inspectors found four critical violations
Posted at 8:38 AM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-17 12:50:23-04

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Department of Health has confirmed a new case of Hepatitis A in an employee of Platinum Pizza. at 1575 Broadway on Buffalo's East Side.

"That the individual handled food during Thursday, august 8th through Sunday, august 11th - when this individual was contagious and able to transmit Hepatitis A," said Gale Burstein, Erie County Health Commissioner.

ECDOH says the person worked at Platinum Pizza at 1575 Broadway, a Hepatitis A immunization clinic will be held Monday August 19th from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday August 20th from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Erie County Training and Operations Center at 3359 Broadway in Cheektowaga.

Vaccines are only for persons who ate from Platinum Pizza from August 8th to August 11th 2019. The ECDOH says an investigation revealed the pizzeria handled about 70 orders a day during that period.

A shuttle service will be available from St. John Kanty Church parking lot at 101 Swinburne Street.

Burstein met with reporters at the Rath Building Friday to outline the situation and provide important information about Hep A.

"It's usually transmitted from person to person through fecal oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water," Burstein explained.

The county health department was alerted to the case August 13th, and that's when an on-site inspection uncovered even more trouble at Platinum, inspectors found four critical violations and 24-non-critical violations .

"The most notable violations included employees not changing gloves before performing various tasks – like cashing – cleaning and preparing food – there was no soap in the hand wash sink and there was no sanitizing step in the dish washing process," Burstein said.

Health inspectors returned to the restaurant Friday and Burstein says platinum pizza remains open, but we could not reach the restaurant for a comment.

Platinum Pizza, formerly Avenue Pizza.

The health commissioner said Platinum opened over the summer and is the former Avenue Pizza.

Burstein noted that overall, the number of Hepatitis A cases in the county continue to rise and she said it appears to be the "tip of the iceberg", but noted some don't experience symptoms and it goes undetected.

We wanted to boil down some important information about Hepatitis A, B & C for you:

  • Hepatitis A – normally a short-term infection
  • Hepatitis B & C – can cause longer, term or chronic infections

Symptoms of Hepatitis A can include:
• Fever
• Fatigue
• Loss of appetite
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Abdominal pain
• Dark urine
• Clay-colored stools
• Joint pain
• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)