November 24, 2014

Salmonella Outbreak in Illinois Sickens 12

A Salmonella outbreak in Bloomington, IL has sickened 12 people, some of whom became ill after eating at McDonald’s, according to the McLean County Health Department (MCHD). Health authorities have ruled out food as a source of the outbreak and suspect that illness was transmitted by restaurant employees who showed up for work sick.

The McDonald’s restaurant on South Main Street in Bloomington, which voluntarily closed during the investigation, tested its 60 employees for the outbreak strain Salmonella Stanley. All samples collected from surface-testing in the establishment were free of Salmonella. The restaurant is reopening with condensed hours and staffed with employees who test results are clear.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause severe illness if ingested. Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning, called salmonellosis are abdominal cramps, fever and bloody diarrhea which usually develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure and last three to seven days.  Anyone who has these symptoms should see a health care provider.

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MCHD is working with the Illinois Department of Public Health to determine the source of the cluster of people who became ill between Oct. 18 to Nov. 11.  “This scenario could occur at any place of business, restaurant or home,” McLean County Health Department Director Walt Howe said, in a statement. “As we enter the holiday season, it’s important to remind people that if you’re sick, stay home to protect family, friends or co-workers from becoming sick. Healthy individuals should wash their hands diligently and use a barrier, such as a napkin or a paper towel, to turn off faucets or open doors in public facilities.”

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