According to news reports somewhere between 70 of the 450 exposed diners lined up for “free” vaccinations yesterday courtesy of the New York City Health Department over fears they may have been infected with the potentially deadly hepatitis A virus after eating dessert at Alta.
“As an avowed hypochondriac, this is among my worst nightmares,” said diner Rob Fishman, 27, of SoHo.
On March 26, he and his family ate at Alta, where a sick food handler in the pastry section was diagnosed with the liver disease.
“Had I known that they were potentially served with a garnish of hepatitis A, I would’ve abstained,” cracked Fishman, who said he has yet to feel any ill effects from his meal.
“I’m not holding it against them,” he added, but said it was doubtful he’d eat there again. “It’s left a bad taste in my mouth.”
Honeymoon couple Tiago Compagnoni, 34, and his wife, Joana Carneiro, 31, enjoyed a romantic evening sharedting a molten chocolate lava cake at the upscale tapas bar, located located on West 10th Street near Sixth Avenue on March 28.
“There are so many good restaurants in this city, and we picked the one that you have to get a vaccination afterwards,” Carneiro joked.
Diners who ordered dessert between March 23 and April 2 could have been exposed to the virus, which is spread when an employee with hepatitis A doesn’t wash her hands well after using the bathroom and then prepares food. The free vaccinations are available through Monday at the Chelsea Health Center on Ninth Avenue.