AVONDALE — More people have fallen ill following a salmonella outbreak at an Avondale taqueria.
As of Wednesday, Chicago’s Department of Public Health had identified 55 confirmed infections stemming from the outbreak at Carniceria Guanajuato at 3140 N. California Ave., up from 20 last week, city spokesman Jacob Martin said in a statement.
At least 17 people were hospitalized as of Friday, Martin said. It’s unclear if that number has grown; Martin didn’t immediately answer a question about current hospitalizations.
An investigation into the source of the bacteria is ongoing, according to the city statement. The restaurant remains closed as owners work closely with public officials to bring the eatery up to safety standards, the city said.
Carniceria Guanajuato was inspected Sept. 8 after reports of food poisoning, city records show. City health inspectors found raw beef and raw shelled eggs stored above ready-to-eat lettuce and improper storage of hot and cold foods, among other violations. City officials gave guidance on safe food handling practice and proper cleaning to stop the spread, officials said.
The restaurant was inspected again Sept. 14. Inspectors instructed restaurant owners to clean and sanitize certain food preparation areas, install working thermometers inside restaurant coolers, and correct labeling of prepared foods, among other fixes, records show.
The Avondale restaurant is reportedly facing five lawsuits over the salmonella outbreak. One customer is so sick he’s on a ventilator and dialysis, according to FOX32.
Anyone who bought food from the taqueria or from the prepared food section of the grocery store should throw it away and not eat it, city health officials said. People who ate at the taqueria or bought prepared food from the grocery since Aug. 29 could also be exposed, officials warned.
City officials have alerted local doctors about what to do if people come in showing symptoms of infection, officials said.
An infection can take between six hours and six days to develop. Symptoms from the bacterial infection usually last between four and seven days, and most people recover without treatment, public health officials said.
Older people or those with weakened immune systems can be more impacted. Symptoms include severe diarrhea, dehydration and high fever. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.
Anyone who developed a diarrheal illness after eating food from the restaurant is asked to contact the city’s public health department at firstname.lastname@example.org to file a suspected food poisoning complaint.
For more information on salmonella, go to www.cdc.gov/salmonella.
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