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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Taste of Chicago and Pars Cove Persian Cuisine Salmonella Outbreak Update

The Associated Press in Chicago reported this morning confirmation that – Two people who got sick after food festival sue restaurant

Two people who say they fell ill after eating hummus at the Taste of Chicago food festival are suing the restaurant that served the food. Forty-nine-year-old Monique Roach and 43-year-old Willie Smith filed a lawsuit yesterday against Pars Cove Persian Cuisine. Roach says she and Smith visited the festival on June 29th and got sick the next day. She says she went to the hospital after getting worse and was diagnosed with salmonella poisoning.

Pars Cove co-owner Mike Bambouyani says he sympathizes with those who got sick but it seems too soon for a suit to be filed.

The Chicago Department of Health says more than 500 people have reported becoming ill after eating food from the Pars Cove booth. Health officials have confirmed that at least 50 of those cases were caused by salmonella poisoning and at least 17 people were hospitalized.

What Are the Symptoms of Salmonella infection?

The acute symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include the sudden onset of nausea, abdominal cramping, and bloody diarrhea with mucous. The onset of symptoms usually occurs within 6 to 72 hours after the ingestion of the bacteria. The infectious dose is small, probably from 15 to 20 cells. There is no real cure for a Salmonella infection (or salmonellosis), except treatment of the symptoms. For most strains of Salmonella, the fatality rate is less than one percent.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting. The diarrhea may be non-bloody, occur several times per day, and not be very voluminous, although in severe cases it may be frequent, bloody and/or mucoid, and of high volume. Fever generally occurs in the 38°C to 39°C range. Vomiting is less common than diarrhea. Headaches, myalgias (muscle pain), and arthralgias (joint pain) are often reported as well. Whereas the diarrhea typically lasts 24 to 72 hours, patients often report fatigue and other nonspecific symptoms lasting 7 days or longer.

Salmonella infections usually resolve in five to seven days, and many times require no treatment, unless the patient becomes severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the intestines. Persons with severe diarrhea may require rehydration, often with intravenous fluids. Treatment with antibiotics is not usually necessary, unless the infection spreads from the intestines, or otherwise persists, in which case the infection can be treated with ampicillin, gentamicin, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, or ciprofloxacin. Some Salmonella bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, however, and this has occurred possibly as a result of the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals.