Chi-Chi's, Inc. Voluntarily Extends Closure of Beaver Valley Restaurant For 60 Days; No Other Locations Involved in Outbreak of Hepatitis A

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Chi-Chi's, Inc., a Mexican restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Ky., today announced that the company had decided to voluntarily extend the closure of its Chi-Chi's restaurant at the Beaver Valley Mall to a minimum of 60 days.

"From the point that we first became aware of this outbreak, our primary concern has been to protect the health, safety and well being of our employees and the local community," said Bill Zavertnik, chief operating officer of Chi-Chi's, Inc. "This decision reflects the high standard of caution that we have taken in responding to this outbreak and the overriding importance we place on food safety."

According to the company's medical advisor, the maximum incubation period for hepatitis A is 50 days. All of Chi-Chi's employees have been tested for the infection.

"We have voluntarily decided to extend the closure of this location until at least 60 days from our initial closure on Nov. 2, 2003. We will not reopen until we have total confidence that the location is safe, every employee has been definitively cleared of the infection and we have consulted with all the participating public health authorities," said Zavertnik. "I would like to stress that none of our other restaurants are involved, where we continue to offer our guests a fun and safe environment to enjoy great Mexican food."

The chain operates 100 company-owned restaurants in the Midwest and eastern United States.

Source: Chi-Chi's, Inc.