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Hepatitis Outbreak Shuts Down Popular Moscow Expat Den Starlite Diner

Starlite Diner

An American diner popular among Moscow’s dwindling expat community has been shut down over a Hepatitis A infection, Russia’s consumer protection watchdog has said.

Founded in 1995, the original Starlite Diner near Mayakovskaya metro served as a regular hangout for expats before burning down in September 2017. It operates three more locations in Moscow.

All three of the Starlite Diner branches have been closed down over Hepatitis A cases among employees and visitors, the Moscow branch of Russia’s Federal Consumer Protection Service announced Tuesday.

“An epidemiological investigation has found that the Starlite Diner restaurant chain operated with numerous gross violations” of hygiene standards, the watchdog said.

Russian media reported that eight alleged cases of the infectious disease had spurred the health inspection. The watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, said it had not inspected Starlite Diner since 2012.

Rospotrebnadzor said it was seeking a court order to suspend the diner’s operations for three months.

Starlite’s website says its southern location at Universitet metro is “closed for technical reasons.” A district court had enforced its 30-day closure as of last Tuesday, Nov. 13, according to Rospotrebnadzor’s announcement.

The Hepatitis A virus is spread through contact with a fecally contaminated environment, or person to person. It attacks the liver and can be fatal.

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