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The Alabama Health Department says customers of McDonald’s at 2000 McFarland Blvd in Northport, near the Tuscaloosa area, may have been exposed to hepatitis A through an infected employee.

The employee worked March 14 and 16. Health officials ask anyone who visited the restaurant on those days to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Officials estimate around 3,400 visited the restaurant during the two-day span.

Customers who visited the McDonalds between Feb. 28 and March 16 could have been exposed to the infection, according to the health department.

“Hepatitis A vaccine and immune globulin can prevent hepatitis A virus infection, but only when given within 14 days of exposure,” said State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson.

The Health Department says exposed individuals should receive treatment no later than this Friday, March 30. Individuals previously vaccinated with hepatitis A vaccine are considered protected from this exposure.

No one else besides the McDonald’s employee has tested positive for hepatitis A. The employee is recovering at home. The McDonald’s is open for business and health officials say it is safe to eat in.

The franchisee of the McDonald’s issued this statement on Wednesday morning:

Our number one priority is always the health and safety of our customers and employees. We are taking this issue seriously and working with the Tuscaloosa Health Department to conduct a thorough review and understand the facts.

We want to assure our customers that the restaurant managers are highly trained and qualified in all aspects of food safety and restaurant sanitation. We adhere to all applicable local, state and federal guidelines and regulations as well as abide by McDonald’s stringent standards.

We wish our employee a speedy recovery and request that additional questions are directed to the Health Department.”

Rick Hannah

McDonald’s Franchisee

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