Louisiana health officials have notified Galatoire’s, one of New Orleans’s most famous fine dining destinations, of at least one case of hepatitis A linked to the French Quarter restaurant, reports NOLA.com. Galatoire’s has released a statement confirming it was “recently” contacted about a “potential incident dating from early to mid-August.”
Hepatitis A is a contagious viral infection that can cause liver damage and other health issues. It’s transmitted through contaminated food and water and person-to-person contact.
The restaurant’s statement says that following the notification, “we embraced the assistance of the Department of Health and together outlined steps Galatoire’s could take to be as responsive as possible for our team and our guests. We acted on the Office’s recommendations immediately.” The restaurant has since undergone a standard inspection by the Department of Health, on September 17, and passed. The restaurant also said it asked about “any additional activities we could take in situations like these” and has since had all employees vaccinated based on the state’s recommendation.
Galatoire’s has not said if a staff member or customer was infected, how many cases were identified by the Department of Health, or identified the source of the infection. According to NOLA.com, the cases are among 1,244 that the state of Louisiana has recorded since January 2018. It’s relatively rare for workers in the food service industry to transmit hepatitis A, however, outbreaks have been tied to restaurants in the past.
After shutting down in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, Galatoire’s first reopened with to-go food and later resumed dine-in service in mid-May with 35 of its normal 170 seats. It has since increased capacity in accordance with New Orleans’s phase 2 restaurant guidelines.
Eater has reached out to city and state health department officials regarding any guidance for customers who may have dined at the restaurant from early to mid-August and will update this post if we hear back. For more information on Hepatitis A cases in Louisiana, see the Department of Health’s page here.
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