On Tuesday, Starbucks announced it was voluntarily closing its stores in certain locations in the Dallas area after receiving a warning from the Texas Department of State Health Services that a Starbucks employee may have been infected with hepatitis A.
According to a letter Starbucks sent to its Dallas-area franchisees, the Starbucks employee “recently worked in a store location that was recently temporarily closed for renovation.” The store reportedly reopened a few days later.
The company also said it was alerting its employees that they may have been exposed to the virus, which, once contracted, is transmitted through contact with infected stool.
The following days after the store reopened Starbucks and its franchisees “took additional testing and found that the risk of a positive test was low,” the letter said. And by Friday afternoon, Dallas-Fort Worth, Fort Worth and Tarrant counties had been notified that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had ruled out people at a meeting the day before as a possible source.
“As a precautionary measure, the company will close its affected stores,” the company’s letter said. “Only Texas residents with the permission of a licensed health care provider can be tested for hepatitis A.”
It is believed that “the restaurants are closed for at least 10 days.”
This incident is another reminder of the importance of using safe sanitation practices.