McDonald's stock drops after an American employee infected with hepatitis A reportedly sparks an investigation

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • A McDonald’s in Berea, Kentucky, is at the center of an investigation after an employee reportedly handled food while infected with hepatitis A.
  • McDonald’s stock dropped by as much as 0.6% on news of the investigation on Thursday.
  • The Madison County health department said that the chance of a McDonald’s customer being infected with hepatitis A as a result is low.

McDonald’s stock dropped on Thursday following reports of an investigation of an employee who handled food while infected with hepatitis A.

On Thursday, the health department of Madison County, Kentucky, reported it is investigating a single case of hepatitis A linked to an employee working while infectious at a McDonald’s in the town of Berea.

Following reports of the investigation, McDonald’s stock dropped by as much as 0.6%, The Financial Times reported.

The health department said that there is a “low” chance that customers would be infected, but advised customers to watch out for signs and symptoms such as “fever, jaundice, grey-coloured stools, dark urine, abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and joint pain.”

“We are fully cooperating with local and state health officials to investigate this matter to ensure the health and safety of our employees and guests,” the location’s franchisee, John Faris, said in a statement to Business Insider. “We have been informed they are investigating a single, isolated case and the risk to guests who’ve visited our restaurant is very low.”

The investigation comes after an incident in late 2017, in which customers of two McDonald’s restaurants in Detroit, Michigan, were encouraged to receive hepatitis A vaccines and watch for symptoms after a worker was diagnosed with the infection.

Food-poisoning scares can send fast-food stocks into free fall even before the full scope of the situation is known. For example, following Chipotle’s E. coli crisis in late 2015, even hints of another food-poisoning scare have sent the burrito chain’s stock plummeting more than once over the last two years.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.