Fort Collins restaurant Tortilla Marissa's temporarily closes over Hepatitis A outbreak

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Health officials are warning the public about a possible exposure to the Hepatitis A virus at Tortilla Marissa's North of the Border Cafe in Fort Collins.

A food worker employed at restaurant at 2635 S. College Ave., tested positive for Hepatitis A, a disease that might be passed to others through food directly handled by the employee before any symptoms appeared, according to the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment.

The restaurant has agreed to voluntarily close until approved by the Health Department to reopen.  

Officials said diners who consumed food or drinks -- either dine-in or take-out -- from the restaurant in the past 14 days could benefit from getting a Hepatitis A vaccination or Immune Globulin injection to reduce the risk of illness.

Shots can be obtained from private health care providers or at two special clinics the Health Department will be holding on Sunday and Monday specifically for those potentially exposed  to Hepatitis A through the restaurant.

The shots will be providing free-of-charge at the Larimer County Health Department, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and on Monday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

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The restaurant's owners released a statement after the closure:

Tortilla Marissa's has voluntarily closed temporarily to protect the safety and health of our staff and loyal customers. We plan to reopen as soon as we can. We have had an employee who handled food get ill from Hepatitis A. We are taking the illness very seriously and want to insure that no one gets sick from the food they handled. We will be working to make sure that we can safely serve you when we reopen with the help of the Larimer County Health Department.  To make sure Tortilla Marissa's is as safe as possible, all of our staff have had the opportunity to get vaccinated. 

We have instituted some new procedures including all future staff will be required to get an Hepatitis A vaccination before being allowed to work at Tortilla Marissa's;  we have written a new employee sick policy based on best practices from around the country; and created some new systems in the kitchen. All of these practices exceed the standards set by the Larimer County Health Department as we are committed to our patrons health.

While we are closed we will be doing some updating, repairs, and working on some new ideas to open back up as an even better restaurant to serve you.  Don't worry, we aren't getting rid of any of your favorites!   Watch Facebook, the media, and our website for more information and for the date of our reopening.  We are doing everything we can to get back up and running as soon as we absolutely can.

We appreciate your support during this difficult time for our staff and the restaurant as our great employees are truly the most impacted by this closing but we want to protect the safety of our customers.

Thank you for your many years of support and we look forward to many more!

Mike & Louann

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