On National Doughnut Day, some Dunkin' Donuts customers warned of hepatitis A infection

By Aimee Picchi

/ MoneyWatch

It's National Doughnut Day, but some customers of Dunkin' Donuts may not be feeling like celebrating. That's because health officials in New Jersey are warning patrons of a Turnersville, New Jersey, location that an employee with hepatitis A worked there while infectious.

The warning, issued on Friday (which is also National Doughnut Day), says the risk of infection is low, but that anyone who drank beverages or ate food at the Dunkin' Donuts located at 460 Hurffville-Crosskeys Road in Turnersville from May 18 through June 1 should seek medical treatment.

The "post-exposure prophylaxis" involves receiving a hepatitis A vaccine as well as immune globulin, which can lower the risk of getting the disease. Customers who ate at the Dunkin' Donuts should receive the treatment on or before June 15, said the Gloucester County Health Department and the New Jersey Department of Health.

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All employees have been treated with post-exposure prophylaxis and returned to work, the health department said.

In a statement emailed to CBS, Dunkin' Donuts said it takes the issue "very seriously."

"Upon learning of the diagnosis, our franchisee, who independently owns and operates the location, took immediate, proactive steps to work with the Gloucester County Health Department and to clean and disinfect the restaurant," the company said in the statement.

Contagious disease

"Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months," the Gloucester health department said in the statement.

It added, "Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces or stool of an infected person."

Symptoms include issues such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and jaundice, the statement noted.

First published on June 7, 2019 / 6:42 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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