Health

McDonald's Employee's Hepatitis A Diagnosis Sparks Class-Action Lawsuit

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

An employee at a McDonald’s location in Waterloo, New York, was diagnosed with hepatitis A. Now the branch’s owner, Jascor Inc., is being sued by a customer for potentially exposing people to the virus, which causes liver infections.

Although McDonald's customer Christopher Welch hasn’t fallen ill, he filed a class-action status lawsuit on Nov. 18, which could impact more than 1,000 customers, Reuters and Eater reported.

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On Nov. 13, the Seneca County Health Department confirmed that one of the employees had hepatitis A, though they added that there was a low risk of diners contracting the illness. Still, they advised customers who went to the Waterloo McDonald’s restaurant on Nov. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 to look at treatment if they haven’t been vaccinated against hepatitis A.

Welch did consume food at the restaurant on at least one of those days, and he has received a vaccination after eating there, Eater reported.

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Hepatitis A could be spread if someone who has the virus touches food, utensils or dishes after not washing their hands after going to the bathroom.

Hepatitis A “can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sources: Reuters, Eater, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Photo Credit: rob_rob2001/Flickr, Mike Mozart/Flickr