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McDonald’s food handler in Central Kentucky had hepatitis, health agency warns

A food worker at a Berea McDonald’s was infected with Hepatitis A.
A food worker at a Berea McDonald’s was infected with Hepatitis A. AP

A food handler worked while infected with Hepatitis A at McDonald’s on Glades Road in Berea last month, according to the Madison County Health Department.

The risk to patrons who ate at McDonald’s is low, the health department said. However, those who ate there on March 23 should watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A from April 7 to May 12.

The McDonald’s received a 100 percent on its most recent health department inspection in February, according to the health department. Owner/operator John Faris said they are fully cooperating with local and state health officials “to investigate this matter to ensure the health and safety of our employees and guests.

“We have been informed they are investigating a single, isolated case, and the risk to guests who’ve visited our restaurant is very low,” Faris added. “We are committed to providing a clean and safe environment for all who visit our restaurant and received a 100 percent score on our most recent health inspection.”

Hepatitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver. It comes in many forms, including hepatitis A, B and C. But what do those letter designations mean, and how do they differ from one another?

Hepatitis A can spread when an infected person does not wash their hands after going to the bathroom and then touches objects. Food or water can also be contaminated by an ill food handler, the health department said.

The Berea restaurant is the latest in a recent string of hepatitis-related health department warnings in Kentucky.

The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is investigating a separate case from a food worker at Ken’s Express Mart, an Ashland store, from March 22 through April 7. In February, two Waffle House restaurants in Boyd County were exposed to Hepatitis A.

1 in 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated food each year. Your kitchen is filled with food safety tools that, when used properly, can keep you and your loved ones healthy. (Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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