Local News

Cary Ragazzi Diners Urged to Seek Medical Advice

Posted August 21, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— We like to think that, when we go to a restaurant, the food we eat is safe. In reality, however, you can never know for sure.

A food handler at Ragazzi's restaurant near the Cary Towne Center Mall is infected with hepatitis-A and may not have properly washed his hands putting customers at risk.

As many as 3,100 patrons of the restaurant may have been exposed to the virus. Wake County health department officials have put out the word. They want anyone who ate in the restaurant between August 7 and August 15 to come in to the health department on New Bern Avenue, near the Wake Medical Center to get an injection.

Many are heeding the warning. The health department has been flooded with both calls and people since word of the outbreak came out. Dozens showed up Thursday morning to receive an injection of immune serum globulin.

The concern stems from the discovery that a cook at the restaurant came down with the contagious, viral infection which can tax the liver. Hepatitis-A can be spread through food, but the incidence is rare.

Herbert Kilian ate at the restaurant during the warning time-frame. He said he was told to come in immediately for an injection.

Ragazzi's Vice President, George Richards, says his company is working closely with the health department to stem the possible spread of the disease.

The health department is expecting a new shipment of serum from several other states. If you have concerns about your own, or someone else's possible exposure, call the Wake County Health Department at 919-250-4500.

Another clinic will be held Friday through Monday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the health department building at 1800 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary.

The injection will not help anyone who might have been exposed before august 7.

If you think you might be at risk for hepatitis-A, here are some of the symptoms to look for:

  • Sudden fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • A yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes
  • Nausea.

    Hepatitis-A is only rarely fatal.

    Photographer:Joe Frieda