The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is working closely with Montebello Costco Wholesale to alert consumers of a possible low risk of hepatitis A exposure associated with butchered meat and seafood products that may have been contaminated by a worker with hepatitis A. This hepatitis A case does not appear to be related to the current hepatitis outbreak among homeless. Out of an abundance of caution, Costco and Public Health warn consumers that anyone who handled and or consumed butchered meat and seafood from Costco Wholesale located at 1345 N Montebello Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640, during the period of October 22 through October 31, 2017, may be at low risk for hepatitis A. This possible exposure does not affect butchered meat and seafood products purchased from other Costco locations.
Public Health is working closely with Costco Wholesale to investigate this possible exposure and to provide at-risk Costco employees with hepatitis A vaccination as needed. Costco has notified their member customers who have bought these products. There is no known risk of hepatitis A exposure at the Montebello Costco Wholesale now or on other dates outside the exposure period, and Public Health has not identified any new cases associated with this possible exposure.
The Los Angeles County Health Officer recommends that individuals who handled or consumed the meat and seafood products from this Costco location receive hepatitis A vaccination or an immune globulin (IG) shot by November 13 to prevent or reduce illness. Those who purchased meat and seafood from October 22 through October 31 should discard any remaining products.
Costco will offer free hepatitis A vaccinations at the Montebello Costco for any customers who may have handled or consumed the meat and seafood products from October 22 through October 31. When:
- Saturday, November 11 from 9:30am – 6:00pm
- Sunday, November 12 from 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Monday, November 13 from 9:30am – 6:00pm
Where: Montebello Costco 1345 N Montebello Blvd. Montebello, CA 90640
“We are actively monitoring this situation and we don’t believe this case is related to the outbreak. It is important that anyone who may have purchased or consumed butchered meat or seafood from this Costco location between October 22 and October 31 contact their doctor to discuss possible hepatitis A prevention and treatment options,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Los Angeles County Health Officer.
Public Health routinely sees hepatitis A cases. Over the past five years there have been between 35-60 cases per year.
Hepatitis A causes acute liver disease, which may be severe. Hepatitis A can be spread by touching objects or eating food that someone with hepatitis A infection has handled. Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis A include fever, malaise, dark urine, lack of appetite, nausea, and stomach pain, followed by jaundice. Symptoms generally last for less than 2 months although some persons may have prolonged or more severe illness. Infection can be prevented in close contacts of patients by vaccination within 2-weeks of exposure or administration of immune globulin. If you experience these symptoms, contact your physician.
Persons who have been vaccinated against hepatitis A or have received IG within the last three months or have ever had laboratory confirmed infection with the hepatitis A virus also do not need an injection of IG.