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May 16, 2011: Illinois Salmonella Illnesses May Be Linked Portillo's Restaurant

Illinois Public Health officials are investigating a Salmonella serotype Typhimurium outbreak that has sickened residents in Kane, DuPage, and Cook counties.  In a press release dated May 10, 2011, the Kane Country Health Department reported that 13 Salmonella illnesses have been confirmed.  Nine of the outbreak victims reported eating at the St. Charles restaurant, Portillo’s, during the month of April.

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The Kane County Health Department also indicated that although Portillo’s Restaurant may be linked to the Salmonella outbreak, health officials have not yet identified a possible food source.  Food samples are being tested for Salmonella contamination, and restaurant workers will be required to submit stool samples to determine if any of the employees are infected with the pathogen.  Restaurant employees will not be permitted report to work until two consecutive stool samples test negative for Salmonella.  The restaurant was also sanitized Monday evening of last week. 

To determine if a food poisoning case is linked to an outbreak, laboratory scientists look for matching Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns among the Salmonella isolates obtained from potential outbreak victims.  PFGE is commonly referred to as DNA finger printing.  Matching PFGE patterns, or matching bacterial DNA, link individuals to a specific outbreak. 

Salmonella Symptoms - Symptoms of Salmonella infection may include diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain. Symptoms usually appear within 12-72 hours after the ingestion of contaminated food.   

If you are diagnosed with Salmonella, are awaiting medical confirmation of infection, or have a question regarding your legal rights, please submit a Free Legal Case Evaluation, or call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274.

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