NSW Food Authority and NSW Health are investigating a hepatitis A outbreak in the Sydney region.
The investigation comes after 10 people have contracted hepatitis A within the area over the past five weeks. On average, there is only two locally acquired hepatitis A cases each year.
Director of Communicable Diseases at NSW Health, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said NSW Health and the NSW Food Authority are assessing patterns of food distribution and any links to overseas outbreaks. She said no specific food has yet to be connected to the outbreak.
NSW Health said that when hepatitis A outbreaks occur in Australia they are either linked to the consumption of contaminated food products or person-to-person spread.
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that spreads in contaminated food or through poor hygiene. Symptoms of hepatitis infection may include nausea, vomiting, fever and yellowing of the skin, dark urine and pale stools.
The risk of spreading hepatitis A can be reduced by washing hands thoroughly, particularly after going to the toilet, touching soiled linen or items, changing nappies and before preparing or eating food.
It is extremely vital to ensure that all staff working with food are well informed of their responsibilities when it comes to food hygiene. Contact CFT for more information or visit CFT here