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Illinois Dept. of Health investigating salmonella outbreak at Subway: Nearly 100 sickened

The Illinois Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed 97 cases of salmonella poisoning across Illinois from mid-May thru early June; all have recovered since.  One of the victims, a woman from Bolingbrook, filed a lawsuit against the chain on Monday, citing that Subway failed to prevent the outbreak.   A rare type of salmonella, hvittingfoss, has been identified as being responsible for the outbreak.  Officials have not yet determined the cause.

In a news release, state public health director Dr. Damon T. Arnold assured that the department was working together with local health organizations to prevent more people from becoming sick. "In an effort to prevent a secondary outbreak, the department is taking precautions by requiring food handlers at certain Subway restaurants in Illinois to be tested and cleared before being allowed to handle food," Arnold said.

There have been several food handlers at various Subway locations that have since tested positive for salmonella hvittingfoss.

Generally, those infected with salmonella will experience fever, diarrhea, and severe stomach cramps within 12 to 72 hours; these symptoms will last from 4 to 7 days.  Most will recover on their own.

In certain cases, such as the elderly, very young children, and those with compromised immune systems, severe complications can develop.  Medical attention should be sought if the symptoms last for a couple of days, if there are bloody stools, or if the patient suffers from a high fever.  The patient should also be monitored for signs of dehydration.

Sometimes a healthy individual who has contracted salmonella poisoning will assume it to be a stomach ache.  Caution should be heeded as this individual can pass the bacteria to other individuals through food preparation or other chores.  Always wash your hands thoroughly to minimize the spread of this bacteria.

Subway has voluntarily disposed of all produce involved within the date range, replacing it with new produce.

In an unrelated incident earlier this spring, 125 confirmed cases of shigellosis were linked to a Lombard Subway.  The DuPage County of Health shut the location down while conducting an investigation; results have yet to be released.


  • Winona Cooking Examiner 5 years ago

    This is an outrage, how could this have happened. What happened to the food handlers laws and regulations. All those isn't like 1 or 2 got sick, over 100...unbelievable.

  • Winona Home & Living 5 years ago

    It is great how Subway responded to this and so quickly. It is good that those that are infected can seek medical attention and get help.

  • Nancy Z-Grand Rapids Health Examiner 5 years ago

    Wow, is any restaurant safe? I think I'll just eat at home--hopefully I won't get sick unless of course I've purchased some tainted lettuce somewhere and come down with e-coli.

  • Taylor Rios 5 years ago

    Oh my gosh, this could have been much worse and ended up with deaths. I am so glad that everyone recovered but am interested in finding out the cause

  • April - Salt Lake City Wellness/Cat Examiner 5 years ago

    Wow so much to have to watch out for these days.

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