I travel a lot.  Honestly (knock on wood), I have never been sickened by the food I have eaten on a plane.  But the following case reminds me how easily it could happen.

In September, 2004, health agencies from many U.S. states, as well as international health agencies, began reporting persons ill with Shigella sonnei

The first Shigella illness involving a guest of the Doubletree Hotel was reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on September 9, 2003. Interviews with other persons confirmed that multiple people had been ill during or following their stay at the hotel. On September 11, CDPHE notified the Foodborne and Diarrheal

In 2000, the California Department of Health Services investigated the foodborne outbreak linked to Viva Mexico restaurant. Dr. Janet Mohle-Boetani, of the Division of Communicable Disease Control Branch, reported that:

“Between October 19 and 24, approximately 221 individuals became ill after eating at the Viva Mexico restaurant in Redwood City, CA.  One death occurred in

The Dupage County Health Department confirmed that at least 140 people have been culture confirmed with Shigella sonnei infections contracted at a Chicago-area Subway restaurant in March of 2010. Ten were hospitalized. Health authorities closed the restaurant at 1009 E. Roosevelt in Lombard and launched an investigation into the source of the outbreak.

Subway Shigella png.pngShigella is

subway2.jpgSeventy-four people (Marler Clark clients) have filed lawsuits claiming they got Shigella infection, also known as dysentery, from a suburban Subway sandwich outlet.

In one of 41 complaints filed this week in DuPage County Court, Tania Lesus sued Neel Subway dba Subway Restaurant, its owner Dahyabhai Patel, and Subway’s parent company, Doctor’s Associates.


shigella_1.jpgShigella is a bacterium that can cause sudden and severe diarrhea (gastroenteritis) in humans. Shigellosis is the name of the disease that Shigella causes. The illness is also known as “bacillary dysentery.” Shigella bacteria can infect the intestinal tract after the ingestion of relatively few organisms. This is why shigellosis is the most communicable of the bacterial-induced diarrheas.

The source of Shigella bacteria is the excrement (feces) of an infected individual that is ultimately ingested by another person. The infectious material is spread to new cases by person-to-person contact or via contaminated food or water. Approximately 20% of the nearly 450,000 cases of shigellosis that occur annually in the U.S are foodborne-related. Generally, the food preparer is the individual who contaminates the food, but food may also become contaminated during processing. Contamination of drinking water by Shigella is a problem that more often occurs in the developing world, but swimming pools and beaches in the U.S. can become contaminated by infected individuals. No group of individuals is immune to shigellosis, but certain individuals are at increased risk, particularly small children. Persons infected with HIV experience shigellosis much more commonly than other individuals.

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