The Boyd County Fiscal Court passed an ordinance Tuesday, June 19, 2018, requiring that all food service workers get the Hepatitis A vaccine.
The ordinance defines food service as “any person, business or other entity engaged in the handling of raw meat and vegetables and/or the preparation and service of food and/or drink to be consumed by the public, e.g. restaurants, grocery meat and produce departments, school cafeterias, nursing home kitchens, jails detention centers and other similar jobs.”
In addition, the ordinance:
- Requires both an initial vaccination and a booster, which should be administered six months after the first dose. If a food service worker has been previously vaccinated, he or she isn’t required to undergo a second vaccination if they provide “satisfactory proof” of the vaccination.
- Provides an exemption for women who are pregnant, those who are opposed to vaccination on religious grounds (who must sign a written sworn statement to that effect), and those who – the written opinion of his or her licensed physician – that such a vaccination would be “injurious to the person’s health.”
Businesses must maintain records for their employees and proofs of vaccinations must be made available to state or local public health inspectors upon request. If any person or business violates the ordinance, they could be fined between $50-250. The ordinance also states that “each day of violation after notification shall constitute a separate offense.”
The rule goes into effect on July 1, 2018 and gives businesses and workers four weeks from that day to receive a vaccination.
You can access a copy of Boyd County’s ordinance HERE.
In addition to Boyd County, St. Louis County in Missouri also has an ordinance requiring mandatory vaccinations for food service workers. County officials there passed the ordinance in 1999 during an outbreak that requires vaccination against hepatitis A for persons who prepare, handle or touch any food (except uncut produce) intended for individual consumption. The law applies to all food handlers, including those in restaurants, day care centers, hospitals, schools, nursing homes and catering operations.
Additional details about the St. Louis County ordinance:
· Two shots are needed: an initial vaccination, and a booster within six to 12 months.
· The ordinance doesn’t specify who should pay; that is up to the individual and his or her employer.
· Exemptions: the requirements do not apply to women while they are pregnant, persons who object because of religious beliefs or because of medical contraindications verified in writing by a physician. Day care homes and day nurseries where no potentially hazardous food is served (other than milk or juice in prepackaged containers for individual consumption) are exempt from the requirement.
· There is a two week grace period from the start of employment for the person to certify either immunity or vaccination.
· The ordinance is an amendment to the Saint Louis County Restaurant Code, which the Saint Louis County Department of Health enforces. Foodservice employers must keep written records to document their compliance.
You can find more details about the St. Louis County ordinance on its website: www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/Health/HepatitisAVacFAQ.