In the summer of 2016, 25 Chicago residents fell ill with symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E.Coli (STEC), five of whom had to be hospitalized. STEC is one of many strains of E.Coli that exist, all of which can cause food poisoning symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. STEC outbreaks are the most commonly-reported type of E.Coli outbreak.
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) linked this particular STEC outbreak to Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill. The restaurant voluntarily closed after the outbreak was discovered and cooperated with the CDPH with its investigation. STEC is transmitted through the consumption of contaminated foods, which are often raw milk, undercooked beef, and raw, unwashed produce. The investigation did not determine which specific food product became contaminated and caused this outbreak.
Symptoms of STEC Infection
Symptoms of STEC poisoning include the following:
- Severe abdominal cramping;
- Diarrhea, which may be bloody; and
These symptoms typically appear three to four days following the consumption of the contaminated food item, but can appear as quickly as one day after exposure or as many as 10 days after exposure. Generally, they start mild and worsen with time.
Infected individuals should stay home from school or work until their symptoms subside. They should use this time to rest and remain adequately hydrated, washing their hands frequently. In rare cases, STEC infection can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which could potentially be life threatening. If you experience worsened STEC symptoms, jaundice, decreased urine production, or frequent fatigue, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The Impact an Outbreak Can Have on a Restaurant
After the link between its food and the E.Coli outbreak was discovered, Carbon Live Fire Mexican Grill opted to temporarily close its two Chicago locations to prevent further infections. It also withdrew from the 2016 Taste of Chicago food festival to ensure that it gave the investigation a sufficient level of attention.
A food poisoning outbreak can damage a restaurant’s reputation for years. How a restaurant handles an outbreak makes a big difference in how its image recovers. For example, Chipotle had a few food poisoning issues in recent years. To recover, it publicized the efforts it took to change how food was handled and stored in its locations, taking accountability for the outbreak and emphasizing how future outbreaks would be prevented.
Work with an Experienced Palatine Food Poisoning Lawyer
If you or your child suffer from symptoms of food poisoning after eating at a restaurant or purchasing packaged or prepared food from a supermarket or other vendor, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages related to the illness. To learn more about filing a personal injury claim for damages related to food poisoning, speak with one of the experienced food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial consultation. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Mkoenitzer)