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Chicago health officials are investigating an emerging Salmonella outbreak linked to a local taqueria in the Avondale neighborhood that has been linked to at least 20 illnesses so far, with 10 reported cases requiring hospitalization. Here is everything we know about this Carnicería Guanajuato Salmonella Outbreak:
This outbreak has been linked to the Carnicería Guanajuato taqueria, located at 3140 North California Avenue after infected individuals reported consuming prepared food from the establishment.
The taqueria voluntarily closed on Sept. 8, but the grocery store is still open to the public.
Carnicería Guanajuato #3 is both a taqueria and a grocery store, offering a full range of produce, dairy, deli items, beverages, and liquor offerings. While the outbreak news primarily links the taqueria to the outbreak, health officials also stress that prepared food at the grocery store is also implicated.
Prepared foods sold at the grocery portion of the store are involved in the health alert.
According to the Chicago health Alert Network (CHI HAN) the investigation began around Sept. 8 when lab results for eight individuals were confirmed positive for Salmonella infection. Of the eight, six of the patients were currently hospitalized. Patient ages ranged from 8 to 59 years old with an a medium of 33 years. This has risen to 20 sick and 10 hospitalized as of Sept. 15.
According to patient interview data, symptoms began from around Aug. 29 to Sept. 4 and epidemiologic investigation links these cases to Carnicería Guanajuato food establishment, located at 3140 N. California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618.
Additional laboratory testing is being performed to identify specific strains involved in the Carnicería Guanajuato Salmonella outbreak.
CHI HAN advises healthcare providers to have stool samples tested for Salmonella spp on patients presenting diarrhea and additional whole genome sequencing analysis to link outbreak cases together.
“Patients presenting with diarrhea and a compatible illness should have a stool sample tested for Salmonella spp.”
— Chicago Health Alert Network
CHI HAN is a web-based communication that enables quick and reliable communication between the public health staff, medical care providers, laboratories, first responders, and other health agencies.
Following this announcement, the Chicago Department of Health gathered more information for the investigation and issued a public statement.
The Chicago Department of Health issued a news release on Sept. 15, indicated that city and state public health agencies are investigating a Salmonella outbreak, indicating 20 people who ate prepared foods at Carnicería Guanajuato fell sick with Salmonella infection, with 10 of them sick enough to require hospitalization.
Chicago health officials say that Carniceria Guanajuato is cooperating with the Chicago Department of Public Health in the outbreak investigation.
The agency indicates that any prepared food from the taqueria or the prepared food section of the grocery store purchased since August 29, 2023, should not be eaten. The news release says that if you have consumed prepared food section of either the taqueria or the grocery section of the store since August 29, 2023, you may have been exposed to Salmonella.
“If you have purchased prepared food from the taqueria or the prepared food section of the grocery store since August 29, 2023, discard it and do not eat it. If you ate food purchased from the prepared food section (taqueria or prepared foods in the grocery section) since August 29, 2023, you may have been exposed to Salmonella.”
— Chicago Department of Public Health News Release September 15, 2023
The health department performed an environmental assessment of the grocery store as well as guidance on safe food handling practice and environmental cleaning to help prevent further spread of disease.
Additionally, the agency issued an alert to the area physicians notifying them about the outbreak and providing medical guidance.
Salmonella is a common foodborne bacterium. In fact, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that this tiny bug causes about 1.35 million infections in the United States each year. Some 26,500 of which become sick enough to be hospitalized, and 420 die from infection.
Food is the common source of most of these illnesses.
The most common symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, often beginning in as little as 6 hours or as long as 6 days after exposure. Some people may also experience nausea, vomiting, or a headache as well. These symptoms often last for about 4 to 7 days.
Most normally healthy people can recover without medical intervention and should not be prescribed an antibiotic for treatment. The CDC recommends infected individuals to drink plenty of fluids during times of diarrhea to prevent dehydration.
Infection in certain groups of people may require antibiotic treatment due to increased risk of more serious illness. This includes people with a weakened immune system, adults older than 50 with existing medical conditions such as heart disease, children less than 12 months old, and adults aged 65 or older.
Some illnesses may become so severe that they need to be hospitalized for treatment. For severe illness, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Call you doctor if you have:
Dehydration symptoms include producing very little urine, dry mouth and throat, and dizziness when standing up.
If you have become sick after eating food from Carnicería Guanajuato and may be connected to the Carnicería Guanajuato Salmonella outbreak, the Chicago Department of Public Health wants to hear from you. The department is monitoring this outbreak event closely and urges anyone involved to contact the agency at email@example.com to file a suspected food poisoning complaint.
Know your rights and the responsibilities of those who are liable in your illness by reaching out to an experienced food poisoning lawyer.
Becoming sick from a foodborne illness is an inconvenience at best, and life-threatening or potentially fatal at worst. We trust that the food establishments preparing our foods do so with our health and safety in mind. When that trust is broken, people can get hurt.
The Lange Law Firm, PLLC is an experienced food poisoning law firm, specializing in cases of Salmonella outbreaks just like this Carnicería Guanajuato Salmonella Outbreak. Reach out today for a free consultation to get your questions answered. Call (833) 330-3663 or click here to email for the help you need from a source you can trust.