BEDFORD, Ind.– The Lawrence County Health Department issued a warning after a Burger King employee who handled food was diagnosed with hepatitis A.
The employee worked while ill at the Burger King at 2601 16th Street on May 15-19 and May 22-24.
“I was definitely freaked out. I ate there five times last week,” said Bedford Burger King customer Josh Earl.
The health department says that even though it’s unlikely anyone became infected by the virus due to the infected employee, it’s still recommended that you get a vaccination by June 7, 2018 if you ate at Burger King on any of those dates.
Vaccinations are being administered at the health department located at 2419 Mitchell Road from 9-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. on June 6 and 7.
The health department is urging anyone who dined at that Burger King to get vaccinated.
“I just walked in and told them that I ate at Burger King and I wanted to get my shots,” said Earl.
Additionally, anyone who ate or drank anything at Burger King on any of the dates listed above should monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A for up to 50 days after exposure. Symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown-colored urine, and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear.
If any of these symptoms develop, stay at home and contact your doctor immediately.
Many customers say they are going to get the vaccine just to be safe.
“My husband is sick anyway and needs a lung transplant. We cannot just jeopardize our health to eat a burger,” said Lisa Dalton.
The health department says from January through June, there have been 18 hepatitis A cases and counting.
Now, customers want fast food workers to follow simple hygiene rules to prevent this from happening again.
“Be more careful and definitely wash your hands each time after using the bathroom or wear gloves. Let the company know that you are infected,” said Earl.
It’s important to wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom, to prevent the spread of hepatitis A.
We reached out to Burger King and the franchise owner about this incident, and the company sent us the following statement:
“The safety of Guests and Team Members is always a top priority for us. The Franchisee, who independently owns and operates this location, is working closely with local health officials to take the appropriate measures and ensure the Restaurant is thoroughly sanitized and safe for Guests and Team Members. At this time, no additional illnesses have been reported and the Restaurant is fully operational after passing all health inspections.”