Subway Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 97

We’ve been following the growing <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella outbreak in Illinois that seems be very clearly linked to the popular Subway restaurant chain. The outbreak has rapidly spread to 28 counties, has been linked to 47 Subway restaurants, and has resulted in nearly 100 people falling ill, said Reuters.

The Illinois Department of Health is investigating the outbreak and confirmed 97 cases of the rare, dangerous, and sometimes deadly, Salmonella Hvittingfoss infection as of Monday, spokeswoman Kelly Jakubek told Reuters. To date, 26 people have been hospitalized, said Reuters.

The 46 Subway restaurants implicated in the outbreak, were all undergoing testing, said Blue MauMau previously. According to Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois’ public health director, “In an effort to prevent a secondary outbreak, the Department is taking precautions by requiring food handlers at certain SUBWAY® restaurants in Illinois to be tested and cleared before being allowed to handle food,” quoted Blue MauMau.

According to Reuters, the poisonings took place from May 11 to June 5, citing Jakubek. And, as we mentioned yesterday, one class action lawsuit is underway and other legal action is expected.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Subway restaurant chain, and local health departments. Produce distributors are being investigated, said the Packer previously.

Subway recently issued a public apology, said The Associated Press (AP). Subway corporate spokesman Kevin Kane issued the apology saying the firm was sorry for the problems, pointing out that those sickened ate at Subway prior to June 3 and confirmed that Subway has thrown out and replaced lettuce, green peppers, red onions, and tomatoes, wrote the AP.

Salmonella, the most prevalent food borne pathogen in this country, is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.

Salmonella poisoning can also lead to Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult-to-treat reactive arthritis characterized by severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. Some Salmonella bacteria are antibiotic resistant, largely due to the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals.

Subway restaurants were implicated in another, large food poisoning outbreak that involved the pathogen, Shigella, and was linked to a Subway in Lombard, Illinois. Illnesses reached 116m with 13 hospitalizations. The Shigella bacteria involved were Shigella sonnei, which can be lethal. The DuPage County Health Department never found the source of the Shigella, and concedes it may never be able to.

Shigella is a genus of bacteria that are a major cause of diarrhea worldwide and is transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food or water—generally contaminated with feces—through person-to-person contact. Shigella can invade and destroy the cells lining the large intestine, causing mucosal ulceration and bloody diarrhea and can cause fever, abdominal cramps, and rectal pain. Shigellosis can be treated with antibiotics, although some strains have developed drug resistance.

Reuters reported that Subway is a privately held company owned by Doctor’s Associates Inc with over 28,500 locations in 86 countries.

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