Momofuku Ssam Closed Due to Alleged Hep A Scare?

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In Section: NY comPRESSed » Posted In: Eats And Drinks Posted By: Sarah Stern

The eatery was named the “Best New Restaurant” by respected New York Times food critic Frank Bruni in 2007. Now, however, the popular East Village restaurant is temporarily closed today due to an alleged Hepatitis A infection. According to Momofuku’s website, the restaurant is closed for lunch this afternoon, yet it gives no specific details at to the circumstances of the health scare. According to, an employee recently tested positive for the illness. The blog reports:

“Once every employee is vaccinated, whether they contracted the virus or not, they've been told it will be safe to reopen the restaurant tonight. And, if no one else on the 60-person staff tests positive, it's likely that no one at Ssam was at risk.

However, and this is a big however, Hep A is transferable (though non-fatal), and the small risk remains that previous customers could have contracted the virus during this worker's incubation period.

Owner David Chang sent out a press release this afternoon confirming the Hepatitis A case and that the restaurant will be reopened this evening for dinner. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was notified and issued their own press release, saying that "on June 8, began the investigation, and inspected the bar the same night. The inspector found no health code violations."

In January, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the development of a restaurant cleanliness report card program in New York City will be available within the next two years.



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