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Subway Sandwich Shops Apologize for Salmonella

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 1:13 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Salmonella, Bacterial Contamination, Foodborne Illness, Children's Health


IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ salmonella invades human cells/ author: Nutloaf

Illinois Outbreak

Subway, the sandwich shop made famous by Jared, has apologized for a Salmonella outbreak in central Illinois.

So far 97 cases of Salmonella Hvittingfoss have been detected from 28 counties in the state. Everyone involved had dined at a Subway shop from mid-May to early June.

More than 24 consumers were hospitalized. Everyone has recovered.

“We are truly sorry for the difficulty this situation has caused you, our customer, and are working diligently to solve this mystery and to regain your trust,” Subway said in a statement.

One of the individuals hospitalized has filed a lawsuit against Subway, reports Food Safety News.

The Web site is supported by Marler Clark, the same Seattle-based law firm that is representing Alicia Bush-Bailey of Bollingbrook, Will County, Illinois.

Bush–Bailey claims she fell ill after consuming a sandwich from an Aurora, Illinois Subway restaurant on May 12. Suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms, including cramps and diarrhea, she drove to the emergency room and was re-hydrated and given pain medication.

Salmonella poisoning can also bring on a high fever, muscle pain, joint pain, and can lead to reactive arthritis or inflammation of one joint or several joints often affecting the knees and ankles.

The Illinois Health Department found that food handlers at several shops had tested positive for Salmonella serotype Hvittingfoss. They must be tested twice and come up with a clean result before being allowed to return to work.

Subway is a privately held chain owned by Doctor’s Associates Inc. with more than 28,500 locations in 86 countries, reports Yahoo News.


The Marler blog reports this specific type of Salmonella, Hvittingfoss, is an uncommon serotype of the 2,000 different strains of Salmonella, typically seen in only one or two cases in Illinois per year, according to health officials.

Foodborne illness affects some 76 million Americans every year and is fatal to about 4,000.

Since lettuce, tomatoes and green peppers can be traced to Salmonella Subway removed the produce from all stores and replaced it with new produce.

The CDC reports that Salmonella bacteria are living microscopic creatures that pass from the feces of mammals to other animals or people. In recent months, peanut butter, pistachios, pet turtles, tomatoes and peppers have all carried Salmonella bacteria.

Children are more likely to become ill with Salmonella and symptoms usually begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

There is no vaccine treatment for Salmonella and antibiotics are not used unless the infection spreads from the intestines. Those most likely to experience harm are the elderly and immunocompromised people. Some forms of salmonellosis can infect the blood or lining of the brain.

Consumers are warned to:

  • Cook meat and eggs thoroughly
  • Wash hands and utensils used around meat
  • Infants and the elderly are particularly susceptible if they are immunocompromised, be careful with their food preparation
  • Wash your hands after handling animals, reptiles, baby chicks or pet feces


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