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Supermercado Rivera Carnitas Cause Salmonella Food Poisoning Outbreak

Posted in Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls,Salmonella on March 7, 2019

Six people who ate carnitas from Supermercado Rivera last month have gotten Salmonella food poisoning.  Supermercado Rivera is located at 4334 W. 51st St. in Chicago’s Archer Heights neighborhood.  All six people ate food from Supermercado Rivera’s kitchen counter on February 23rd or February 24th.

Chicago’s Department of Public Health warns Chicagoans that anyone who ate at Supermercado Rivera’s kitchen on February 23rd or 24th may have been exposed to Salmonella. Anyone who purchased food from Rivera’s kitcthen on Feb. 23 or 24 and then froze it in their freezer is advised not to eat it.  It could be contaminated with Salmonella.

According to Chicago’s health department, “Implicated food items were no longer available at the store as of March 1, 2019 and at this point there is no evidence that the food made after this date was contaminated.”

Salmonella Facts

The term “salmonella” refers to a group of bacteria, the kind that tends to cause an infection in the intestinal tract of the host. This often results in a  diarrheal illness, called salmonellosis, as well as vomiting and other flu-like symptoms. Salmonella is a gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium, of which there are well over 2,300 subtypes, including but not limited to serovars enterititis, Salmonella Agbeni, and typhimurium.

Several different Salmonella types exist. While they can vary in severity of illness, symptoms of infection are generally the same. Whether exposed to the Supermercado Rivera contamination or any other potential exposure, we have compiled a few fast facts to arm you with knowledge.


  • Salmonella is common, but SERIOUS.  It is more common than you can imagine. In fact, the CDC estimates that around 1.2 million illness resulting in 23,000 hospitalization and 450 deaths occur in the United States each year.  This puts Salmonella up there with Campylobacter and Norovirus, the two other very common foodborne illnesses.


  • Stats. Some of these cases are acquired outside of the US and then diagnosed when the patient returns home.  That accounts for 0.1 million  (or 100,000) cases.  A significant 1 million cases are linked to foodborne infection alone.  If you are following the math here, that only leaves 100,000 remaining cases attributed to other exposures.  Food related Salmonella cases are responsible for around 19,000 hospitalizations and about 380 deaths each year.


  • Symptoms range from mild to serious. Most people will develop symptoms around 12 to 72 hours after exposure and often last around 4 to 7 days.  These include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, which most people will recover from without medical intervention.  BUT some cases are more extreme where diarrhea may be so severe that dehydration occurs.  If this occurs, the patient will likely require hospitalization. Sometimes, a Salmonella infection can move from the intestines into the blood and onto other parts of the body.  If antibiotics are not promptly administered, death is likely to occur. There is also a risk of developing reactive arthritis, IBS, or other long-term complications in some more severe cases.


  • Some people are at higher risk than others. The very young, the very old, and those with a compromised immune system are more likely to experience more severe illness and resulting complications.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Salmonella illnesses can be concerning. Those showing signs of illness should immediately seek medical help as Salmonella infections effect each individual at varying degrees. According to the latest news from the health department:

“If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with Salmonella, including dehydration, severe diarrhea, or high fever, and consumed food from the store that was purchased on the affected dates, you are encouraged to seek medical attention, and to contact the Department of Public Health at 312-746-7425 to report your illness.”

Early medical intervention can help reduce the risks of severe illness and potential long-term complications.

Preventing Salmonella Infection

Salmonella, like most foodborne illnesses, is preventable. Our friends at the CDC have presented a list for all consumers to follow in order to help prevent Salmonella infection from any food products from any source:


  • Wash your hands! Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another if hands have Salmonella germs on them. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers. Don’t forget the soap!


  • Cook raw meats thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Chicken breasts, whole chickens, ground poultry, including chicken burgers and chicken sausage, pork, ground beef, steaks, and other raw meats products should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food. Properly cooking these proteins is essential in avoiding the spread of foodborne illnesses. Don’t forget to let it rest!


  • Don’t spread germs from raw meats around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry (or other ra meats for that matter) before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw meats can spread to other foods and kitchen surfaces. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, food prep surfaces, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw meats. Use a separate cutting board for raw meats if possible to prevent potential cross contamination.


  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets (and YOU!) sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet. It is a good idea to stick to pet food that has been cooked first.

Our Salmonella Lawyer is Here to Help You

If you believe you have developed a Salmonella infection from carnitas and other foods that were purchased on Feb. 23 and 24 at the Supermercado Rivera, we want you to know that a Salmonella Lawyer at the Lange Law Firm, PLLC is currently investigating this matter and offering free legal consultations. Our lawyer, Jory Lange became a lawyer to help make our communities and families safer.

If you or a loved one have become ill with Salmonella after eating ground beef products, you can call (833) 330-3663 for a free consultation or complete the form here.

By: The News Desk