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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Subway Sickens at least 2,618 with Salmonella Hvittingfoss in Illinois

No, really – keep reading. 

According to the Illinois Department of Health, the outbreak of Salmonella sicknesses in Illinois linked to Subway restaurants is spreading. To date, there are 68 confirmed cases, of which 24 had been hospitalized. People with the illness reported eating at Subway locations in central Illinois 24 counties.

According to the CDC, for every one person who is a stool-culture confirmed positive victim of salmonella in the United States, there a multiple of 38.5 who are also sick, but remain uncounted. (See, AC Voetsch, “FoodNet estimate of the burden of illness caused by nontyphoidal Salmonella infections in the United States,”Clinical Infectious Diseases 2004;38 (Suppl 3):S127-34). This means that in this Subway Salmonella Hvittingfoss outbreak of 68 (this number is bound to rise), we are missing 2,550 people so far.

A few critical questions to ask Subway:

1.  Didn’t you just have a Shigella outbreak?

2.  Given that this Salmonella outbreak is in 24 counties, and you recalled various vegetables (lettuce), will you also name your suppliers and tell us if you had any requirement for product testing?

3.  Will you commit to paying for the medical expenses and lost wages of your sickened customers?

  • Amgar Albert

    Dear Bill,
    The right number is 38.6 cases of Salmonella infection for each culture-confirmed case, and not 38.5, see, http://www.cdc.gov/enterics/publications/374-voetscha1.pdf

  • Erik B. Ellingson

    Bill: As you know from past issues with SUBWAY, only a very small percentage of their locations are actually company owned. Indeed, SUBWAY is the ultimate “pass through” franchisor, where the independant operator is required to follow company mandates but generally left to fend for themselves on matters such as, say, tainted food products. As you press for answers for those you represent, you will likely find SUBWAY doing damage control to protect their trade name/mark but little for those who actually got sick. That, in the world of SUBWAY, is for the franchisee to deal with…

  • Lorelei Semenow

    I think the more important issue is why did the State Health Dept take so long in requiring the two tests for employees? And why is it taking so long for the employees to get their results back? I think it would be great if the lawyers would take on the Government to see why we can not handle a crises. We have people out of work and stores that cannot cover shifts. This is not the first ever outbreak. We have seen other chains in trouble before but what has the government done to improve things for their own Citizens? Too busy giving everything to the illegals and other Countries.