November 18, 2015 — The operator of a McDonald’s restaurant in Waterloo, New York has been hit with a lawsuit after customers were exposed to food made by an employee with hepatitis A.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit was filed by Christopher Welch, a man who bought and ate food at a McDonald’s located at 2500 Mount Road.
He is proposing class action status on behalf of anyone who ate at the restaurant when the infected worker was on duty. The case was filed in New York state court against Jascor Inc., a franchisee of McDonald’s.
On November 13, health department officials in Seneca County confirmed that a food service worker at the Waterloo McDonald’s tested positive for hepatitis A. They said the risk of disease transmission was low, but urged customers to consider getting tested if they were not immunized against hepatitis A and ate at the restaurant on October 31, November 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8.
More than 1,000 people received vaccinations for hepatitis A at a clinic set up in the Mynderse Academy Gymnasium on Troy Street in Seneca County over the weekend, according to CNY Central.
Health Department Director Vicky Swinehart said:
“In Seneca County we have we have not had Hepatitis A outbreak before, at least a large breakout in the 23 years since I’ve been here. I’m glad to see we had such a good turnout and that people are taking this seriously.”
Hepatitis A is a highly-contagious disease the damages the liver and spreads through the “fecal-oral” route. Restaurant workers can spread the virus when they do not wash their hands after using the bathroom and prepare food.
Symptoms of hepatitis A may include sudden onset of fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pain, dark-colored urine, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). It can take 15-50 days for symptoms to appear.
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