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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Don’t Freak Out: Joong Boo Market Is Open Again After Brief Shutdown

The Department of Public Health shows that some packaged squid sold at Joong Boo was contaminated with salmonella.

A worker removing the "License Suspended" sign Friday afternoon.
Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
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This story has been updated with information from Chicago Department of Public Health.

AVONDALE — Fans of Joong Boo were startled to find a big green “License Suspended” sign affixed to the beloved Asian market’s window Thursday.

But it was only up for a little more than a day.

The market at 3333 N. Kimball Ave. reopened at about noon Friday. A manager there, who declined to be named, said plumbing issues forced the closure.

“Our water tank was giving us problems — it was nothing to do with food,” the manager told Block Club.

But an inspection report provided by the city’s Department of Public Health shows that some packaged squid sold at Joong Boo was contaminated with salmonella.  

The market was inspected following a complaint from the public, according to the report. “Managers [sic] was not aware of the complaint. Establishment buys the frozen squid from reputable company. Panama squid from Quirch Foods… Squid are frozen and packaged for sale.” 

Joong Boo was also cited for a lack of hot water throughout the store, the report said. 

Ramon Cota said he swung by Joong Boo to eat from their snack bar on Sunday morning when they opened. By midnight, he was violently ill — with symptoms of food poisoning. 

 “I’m really disappointed,” Cota said. “I live up the street from Joong Boo, so I go there maybe once a month. After that experience and hearing that the health inspector shut them down, I sincerely doubt I’ll be eating at their ‘Snack Shop.’ I may still go there for pre-packaged groceries.” 

Aside from packaged groceries, the store has a cold salad bar and a snack shop where folks can grab a hot lunch. Though he got sick, Cota said he didn’t file a complaint with the health department. 

“On December 6, 2018, CDPH conducted an inspection of Joong Boo Market located at 3333 N. Kimball and found several violations, including no hot water throughout the establishment,” Chicago Department of Public Health spokeswoman Anel Ruiz said. “This is a priority violation, and as a result the establishment was closed. The establishment has corrected the issue and has been cleared to reopen.”