Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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Vernon Hills, Illinois, Chili's Grille & Bar 2003

More than 300 persons became ill with Salmonella Javiana as a result of eating at the Vernon Hills, Illinois, restaurant. After the second case was reported, the local health department inspected the restaurant. Inspectors found that the dishwasher was broken and food had not been stored at proper temperatures. At that time, it was found that four employees had called in sick with flu symptoms. A restaurant patron had confided with the health department that the restaurant had no running water on one day of operation. The restaurant subsequently admitted to this and then told the health department that they had no hot water on another day of operation. Illnesses reports escalated over the following days. The health department ordered the restaurant closed to arrange testing of all employees, to provide employee food handling training, and to clean up the restaurant. Employees at this Chili's restaurant also had worked at three other restaurants, including a Chili's restaurant in Gurnee. Two leftover food samples that were provided by patrons tested positive for Salmonella. These leftovers came from the Vernon Hills and Gurnee Chili's restaurants. The health department concluded that the outbreak had been caused by infected employees who had contaminated the food, poor sanitation practices, and improper food handling.

  • Outbreak began:
  • June 2003
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • N/A
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Food workers
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Unknown
  • Test Results:
  • None
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 300
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 169
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 105
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 26
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Any Deaths:
  • Unknown
  • Number Dead:
  • Unknown

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