Pak'nSave employee has typhoid

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2013

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An Auckland supermarket worker has contracted typhoid, but health authorities are reassuring the public there is no risk of an outbreak.

The Pak'nSave employee is currently off work after being diagnosed with the potentially fatal illness which can spread through contaminated food or water, and faecal matter.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service were alerted to the matter on January 8.

Health service medical officer Dr Richard Hoskin said there was no risk to the public, including supermarket customers.

"As is our normal practice in all such cases we have done a thorough risk assessment and...we have not identified any cause for concern."

At this stage typhoid has not spread to any of the infected person's family or workmates, he said.

Public health officers looked at the employee's work responsibilities and the supermarket's food safety practices when assessing the risk.

"ARPHS has ensured that staff receive appropriate information in order to minimise the risk of anyone else becoming unwell."

The infected staff member will remain off work until cleared by the public health service.

The health service are informed of about 20 cases of typhoid annually, with more cases in summer.

The majority of infections occur while people are travelling overseas, however the health service confirmed this latest was caught in New Zealand.

Symptoms may include a fever, headache, rash and diarrhoea.

The health service advises anyone with typhoid to avoid preparing food.

Foodstuffs communications director Antoinette Shallue would not say which Pak'nSave the infected worker was employed at, to protect the person's privacy.

Pak'nSave, which is owned by Foodstuffs, was working with the health service to investigate the infection, she said.

"All staff have been reminded of the stores illness policy."

As a precaution staff have been told to stay home if they suffer from diarrhoea or vomiting.

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- Auckland Now

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