Not-so-Happy Meals in Illinois

While Brad and Angelina were treating their kiddies to some McDonald’s Happy Meals this weekend (see right), the Rock Island County Health department revealed repeat violations for the Milan, Illinois McDonald’s linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak, reports WQAD Online.

Rock Island County Health inspectors typically go to restaurants like a McDonalds once or twice a year. That’s all that is required by law. But the Milan McDonald’s because of violations last year was told in February they would be visited as many as four times this year.

The Milan McDonald’s was shut down last Wednesday after the Rock Island County Health department realized an employee was working while sick with Hepatitis A and exposing customers to the disease. (Possibly 10,000 people were exposed.) When a violation occurs it’s the inspectors job to find out why.

Paul Guse the Direcor of Environmental Health said there had been violations in the past, and a letter sent to the establishment in February, saying,

"We have identified your establishment as being below desired compliance levels and posing an increased risk for a foodborne illness outbreak."

Did the health department see this outbreak coming?

Guse says, "No."

Mcdonald’s owner Kevin Murphy says he did not know of the outbreak until Monday the 13th and was not told the names of the infected employees until Wednesday, July 15th after his restaurant was closed.

Restaurant inspections aren’t predictive of foodborne illness outbreaks, but they can provide information on an establishment and management’s culture of food safety.