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One Person Has Died After Eating at This Chain, Experts Say

The death follows reports of at least 26 people being hospitalized after eating the chain's food.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

Whether you're getting a meal from your local hole-in-the-wall restaurant or venturing out to a Michelin-starred eatery, you run the risk of potentially getting food poisoning from practically any meal you consume. While taking certain preventative steps, like checking out a restaurant's ratings and health violations online, avoiding raw or undercooked eggs or meat products, and washing your hands thoroughly before you eat can all help reduce your risk of illness, sometimes, even those measures aren't enough.

Unfortunately, one U.S. restaurant chain's recent outbreak of foodborne illness has now led to one customer's death. Read on to discover which chain's customers are getting sick and what to do if you think you've been exposed. And be sure to know about the recent food recalls announced by the FDA.

A customer at Famous Anthony's restaurant in Virginia has died.

famous anthony's restaurant exterior at night with illuminated sign
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On Oct. 15, Christie Wills, a communications officer for the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD), announced that a customer who had been infected with hepatitis A after eating at a Famous Anthony's restaurant in Virginia had died. This is the first reported death associated with the Virginia-based chain's hepatitis A outbreak.

While the name and age of the deceased individual have not been released due to privacy concerns, health officials have confirmed that the person was an adult with underlying medical conditions.

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The outbreak has been linked to at least 26 hospitalizations.

woman patient with period pain on hospital bed room
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The RCAHD confirmed that at least 37 individuals have been infected with hepatitis A linked to the Famous Anthony's outbreak and at least 26 people have been hospitalized.

"Hepatitis A virus typically causes self-limited inflammation of the liver, however in this outbreak, we have seen a high rate of severe disease," Cynthia Morrow, MD, MPH, health district director of the RCAHD, explained in a statement.

If you are experiencing certain symptoms, see a healthcare provider now.

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If you ate at the Famous Anthony's restaurants at 4913 Grandin Road, 6499 Williamson Road, or 2221 Crystal Spring Ave. in Roanoke, Virginia between Aug. 10 and Aug. 27, 2021, be on the lookout for symptoms that could be linked to hepatitis A.

Anyone who ate at the affected Roanoke restaurants during the specified time period should contact a healthcare provider if they are experiencing abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, jaundice, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting. Individuals with hepatitis A typically present with these symptoms within 20 days of exposure.

"It is also very important for people with symptoms to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service, health care, or childcare," representatives of the RCAHD add.

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Hepatitis A can be prevented through specific health measures.

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The RCAHD notes that the best way to reduce your risk of developing hepatitis A from any source is to get vaccinated against the disease.

"Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A," RCAHD representatives note, adding that contact with infected people can spread the disease as well.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more