LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (Lex 18) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating after an employee at a Lawrenceburg candy factory was diagnosed with hepatitis A.
According to the Anderson County Health Department’s Facebook page, an employee at Bauer’s Candies tested positive Nov. 27.
No information was released about a possible recall of the candy.
The health department said the agency is working closely with the state Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA, and encourage people to get themselves vaccinated against the disease.
Anna Bauer, owner and president of Bauer’s Candies, said the infected employee only worked for company for about a week. Before he started, we was vaccinated for Hepatitis A, which Bauer says she’s required of employees since October.
“I did that to prevent some of what’s happening right now,” She said. “I never wanted my company to come under this scrutiny, but unfortunately it has.”
Bauer said she is cooperating with the investigation. When the company learned of the situation, all candy made on the day in question was discarded. Bauer’s also shut down for half a day to deep clean.
“If you purchased candy from me during Thanksgiving week I’d be happy to refund your money or replace your candy,” Bauer said.
A highly infectious liver disease, hepatitis A typically is spread when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.
Bauer’s Candies has been in business for more than a century and is the maker of the famous Modjeska, described on the company’s website as “a homemade creamy marshmallow center hand dipped into a rich and creamy homemade caramel.”
Although the candy-maker allows tours of its facility, it doesn’t sell candy at the factory. Instead, the candy is shipped all over the world for online orders along with being available at numerous retail outlets, including QVC.
When reached by email this afternoon, a QVC spokesperson released the following statement:
“The safety of our customers and team members is a top priority. We have just become aware of the county’s report and are consulting immediately with the Investigating agencies on recommended next steps as well as with Bauer’s Candies to understand their plans to address this issue.”
Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease.