The E. coli outbreak linked to Carbon Live Fire has grown to include at least 54 people as of Saturday, July 9, 2016, according to the Chicago Department of Health. At least 15 people have been hospitalized in this outbreak.
CDPH released a statement today stating, “After conducting a thorough inspection of Carbon’s second location on Marshfield, CDPH’s Food Protection Team determined that the restaurant was safe, clean, and able to meet all requirements for a safe reopening.”
That location was voluntarily closed on Friday July 1, 2016 after an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) was confirmed at the restaurant’s other location at 300 W. 26th Street. The main location on 26th street, which is the focus of this outbreak investigation, is still closed.
CDPH is working with Carbon’s management, who have been “extremely collaborative” according to officials. The restaurant also withdrew their participation from Taste of Chicago.
If you ate at a Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill in Chicago and have experienced the symptoms of an E. coli infection, see your doctor. Those symptoms include severe abdominal cramps, possible mild fever, possible nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea that becomes watery and bloody. These symptoms usually appear three or four days after exposure to the bacteria. Some people get sick within one day; others seven or more.
An E. coli infection, if improperly treated or if the patient is very young, can develop into hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which can destroy the kidneys and be life-threatening. Symptoms of that complication include little or no urine output, lethargy, abdominal pain, small bruises, fatigue and irritability, bleeding from the nose or mouth, and swelling of the face, hands, feet, or body. If anyone is experiencing these symptoms they should be taken to a doctor immediately.
Previous E. coli outbreaks in the U.S. have been linked to Gold Medal Flour, alfalfa sprouts, chicken, and food eaten at restaurants. Officials have not said if they suspect contaminated food or another source of this particular outbreak. A lawsuit has been filed against Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill on behalf of a woman who contracted an E. coli infection after eating there.