Tuberculosis and Food Establishments
The Department of Public Health Tuberculosis
Control Program, offers tuberculosis testing and treatment to all persons residing in Los Angeles County at a low cost or for free.
Public health officials have been concerned with the increasing numbers of tuberculosis (TB) cases. Officials hope to decrease the number of TB cases in Los Angeles County by educating the public about the disease, the use of screening tests, and the treatment of cases. One group that is targeted are food workers. Tuberculosis is not transmitted to patrons through food; however, like any other work place, infectious food handlers may transmit their disease to fellow workers.
TB is caused by a bacterium that in most people remains inactive for years following first infection. In this stage a person harbors the organism in the lung but is not contagious. This is why testing for TB is important. TB may become active and cause a destructive disease of the lungs. In this active stage, a person shows symptoms and can spread the disease. A worker with active tuberculosis can spread the disease by sneezing or coughing, which are TB's most common symptoms. Daily exposures to an infectious person on the job increases risk of transmission of the disease.
The Department of Health Services, Public Health Programs and Services, offers tuberculosis testing and treatment to all persons residing in Los Angeles County at a low cost or for free. Public health officials ask that food establishment owners or operators have their employees tested for TB since the disease is curable with proper treatment. For additional information regarding this disease, contact
the Los Angeles County Tuberculosis Control Program at (213) 744-6160.