A few days ago, in Florida, ABC Action News I-Team uncovered an employee who worked inside McDonald’s at 8006 Osceola-Polk Line Road in Davenport had a confirmed case of Hepatitis A last week.

McDonald’s released the following statement:

“We were informed by the Polk County Health Department that one of our employees has become ill. We are fully cooperating with the health department in their review of this matter, an isolated instance at this restaurant, to ensure the health and safety of all our employees and customers. Today and always, we are committed to a safe and clean restaurant environment, and we have taken proactive steps to again completely sanitize our restaurant.”

In Indiana News 10 reported this morning that Sullivan County health officials are investigating a case of Hepatitis A at a local food handler and say the risk of infection is low for patrons who recently visited.

“There have been no other suspected cases arising from this case at this time, said” the Sullivan County Health Department in a press release on Saturday.

News 10 got in touch with Owner/Operator of the McDonald’s in Sullivan, Matthew Comte. He told News 10 in a statement, “We were informed by the Sullivan County Health Department that one of our employees has become ill; however, the transmission risk to guests and employees who’ve visited our restaurant is deemed extremely low by the Health Department.” He also sent us the same release from the Sullivan County Health Department.

The release said the establishment is working with health officials to prevent any further risk, “The restaurant has voluntarily closed for deep cleaning and food handlers are being given the Hepatitis A vaccine.”

“We are fully cooperating with local health officials to investigate this matter to ensure the health and safety of our employees and guests. We are committed to providing a clean and safe environment for all who visit our restaurant,” said Comte.

According to a recent health warning, the CDC reported multiple states across the country have reported outbreaks of hepatitis A (HAV), primarily among people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness. Since the hepatitis A outbreaks were first identified in 2016, more than 15,000 cases, 8,500 hospitalizations, and 140 deaths as a result of HAV infection have been reported.

The states’ data show about 65 percent of the individuals sickened have been linked to drug use and/or homelessness. The remaining 35 percent have been Epi-Linked — people infected who are not drug users or homeless — or the cause of their infections is unknown.

In 2000, we said this:

“In the last six months Hepatitis A exposures have been linked to two Seattle-area Subways, a Carl’s Jr. in Spokane, WA, Hoggsbreath, a Minnesota restaurant, and three restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, IHOP, U.S. Pizza, and Belvedeers. Restaurants and food manufacturers must take action and voluntarily vaccinate all of their employees.”

Since then — especially recently — hardly a day goes by that the press does not report another food service worker possibly exposing thousands of patrons to HAV. Yet, neither the CDC nor any restaurant association has recommended HAV vaccination for such workers — until after the exposure. This is not an acceptable public health response.

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr. We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, who required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.