Lack of hand-washing leads to Salmonella outbreak

Vernon Hills, IL — Lake County Health Department officials have traced a Salmonella outbreak at Chili’s Grill & Bar, located at 567 E. Town Line Road, to an infected food-handler. Six patrons have tested positive for the bacteria, and it is suspected that the number of Salmonella cases linked to the restaurant will rise as the investigation into the outbreak continues. Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm nationally known for its representation of victims of foodborne illness, has been contacted by victims of the outbreak seeking legal representation.

“People have contacted me because they have been through a horrible ordeal,” said William Marler of Marler Clark. “It just kills me to know that this outbreak was linked to a food-service worker. Salmonella and other bacteria are spread through a fecal-oral route. The restaurant should have a hand-washing policy in place to prevent circumstances that could lead to an outbreak like this.”

“Salmonella infections are not pretty,” Marler continued. “Victims suffer from intense abdominal cramping, bloody diarrhea, and nausea. Many have to be hospitalized.”

Persons with diarrhea usually recover completely, although it may be several months before their bowel habits are entirely normal. A small number of persons who are infected with Salmonella will go on to develop pains in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. This is called Reiter’s syndrome. It can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis, which is difficult to treat. Antibiotic treatment does not make a difference in whether or not the person later develops arthritis.


BACKGROUND: The attorneys at Marler Clark have extensive experience representing victims of foodborne illness. The firm has successfully represented victims of Salmonella poisoning related to contaminated sprouts, cantaloupe, cereal, orange juice, and other foods. The firm represented victims against Sun Orchard after the company’s orange juice was tied to a Salmonella outbreak. Marler Clark also settled the claims of victims who ate Salmonella-tainted pastries at Black Forrest bakery in Clinton Township, Michigan, and represented 70 victims of Salmonella poisoning at a country club in Rochester, New York last summer. The firm has successfully represented over 1,000 victims of Salmonella poisoning in several other states.