On April 5, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advised Alta Restaurant patrons who had eaten dessert purchased from the restaurant between March 23 and April 2, 2013 to seek vaccination against hepatitis A, a communicable disease that is often transmitted through food-contamination. According to multiple news reports, a pastry chef who works at the restaurant had recently returned from Mexico and contracted the virus. Because symptoms of infection do not appear for roughly 2 weeks after exposure, the Alta Restaurant worker prepared food while infectious, but before exhibiting symptoms of illness, which include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and fatigue.
The Health Department encouraged Alta Restaurant customers to contact a healthcare provider for vaccination or to visit one of three vaccination clinics the public health agency offered.
Marler Clark filed a class action lawsuit against Alta Restaurant on April 11, 2013. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Alta Restaurant patrons who received hepatitis A vaccinations after alleged exposure to the hepatitis A virus at Alta Restaurant between March 23 and April 2, 2013.