"If it was just me and I got ill, I could live with that," said [the plaintiff], a 46-year-old Chicago resident. "To know that it was because of someone else not washing their hands, or handling the food wrong."
Illinois Department of Investigators confirmed 97 cases of salmonella poisoning from 28 Illinois counties, as of last Monday. The outbreak took place between May 11 and June 4, according to Reuters.
No deaths were reported, although 26 people were sick enough to be hospitalized. All recovered.
Subway spokesman Kevin Kane said the company was sorry for the outbreak, and is is working with public health officials to pinpoint the problem. In the meantime, the chain has pulled suspect items from its sandwich bars, including onions, green peppers, tomatoes and lettuce.
Contaminated poultry, leafy green vegetables and nuts and fruits are among the chief causes of food-borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It estimates that food-borne illnesses sicken 76 million Americans a year, causing more than 5,000 deaths.
Subway has 28,500 restaurants, making it one of the largest restaurant chains in the U.S.