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Illinois Salmonella Injury LawyerThere are multiple types of food products that may become contaminated, leading to food poisoning. While government organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitor food products in the United States for safety, there are many cases where foods that are contaminated with harmful bacteria or viruses are sold to consumers. In one of the most recent food poisoning outbreaks, onions imported from Mexico have caused hundreds of people to become infected with salmonella.

Recalls of Onions and Related Products Due to Salmonella Contamination

Starting in September of 2021, the CDC identified an outbreak of infections of the Salmonella Oranienburg bacteria. This outbreak was linked to whole, fresh onions that were imported to the United States from Mexico. As of October 28, 2021, more than 800 infections have been reported in 37 states and Puerto Rico, and these infections have resulted in at least 137 hospitalizations. Illinois has been one of the most affected states, with 47 cases reported so far. Since the investigation is ongoing, and determining whether an illness is related to this outbreak may take multiple weeks, it is likely that many more people will be affected by this outbreak.

Because of this outbreak, multiple companies have performed recalls of onions and other food products. ProSource Produce, Keeler Family Farms, and Potandon Produce have recalled white, yellow, and red onions that were imported in July and August of 2021. These onions had been distributed to wholesalers, grocery stores, and restaurants, and they were available under brand names such as Big Bull, Sierra Madre, Rio Valley, Rio Blue, Peak Fresh Produce, and Green Giant. Meal kits produced by HelloFresh and EveryPlate have also been recalled.


Illinois Food Poisoning LawyerNewborn infants are very vulnerable, and they may suffer harm due to infections or other health issues. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one issue that can affect children who are born prematurely or who have a low birth weight. This intestinal illness can be incredibly harmful, and it may threaten an infant’s life or lead to life-long medical conditions. In some cases, it may be caused by an E. coli infection or the use of baby formula in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Symptoms of NEC

Necrotizing enterocolitis affects the lining of the small or large intestine, and it may cause intestinal tissue to die. In some cases, a hole may develop in the intestinal wall, causing foods and liquids to leak into the abdomen and leading to widespread infections or sepsis. Dead intestinal tissue may need to be removed, or a child may experience intestinal blockages or other issues that will affect their ability to digest food throughout the rest of their lifetime.

NEC most commonly affects premature infants who are born before the 28th week of pregnancy, although it may also affect children with birth defects who are born at full term. Symptoms will usually appear around two weeks after a child’s birth, and they may include abdominal swelling, inability to move food through the intestines, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, inability to eat, and lack of weight gain. A swollen abdomen may cause a child to experience difficulty breathing, and infections may lead to issues such as low heart rate, low blood pressure, and fevers.


Illinois Foodborne Illness LawyerWhen a person contracts food poisoning after eating foods that are contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or other toxins, they may experience multiple types of health issues. In addition to suffering from the effects of a foodborne illness, a person may experience other complications that can affect their health and well-being. Reactive arthritis is one of the most serious of these complications, and it can cause significant pain and discomfort while affecting a person’s ability to work and manage their daily activities.

What Is Reactive Arthritis?

While the causes of reactive arthritis are not fully understood, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that occurs because the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues. While reactive arthritis is relatively rare, it can occur as part of the body’s response to gastrointestinal infections, including foodborne illnesses that occur because of salmonella, campylobacter, shigella, and yersinia. 

Symptoms of reactive arthritis will usually occur within one to six weeks after a person contracts a gastrointestinal infection, and they may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. In serious cases, a person may experience chronic, ongoing symptoms that affect their quality of life and their overall well-being. Symptoms may include:


Illinois Food Poisoning LawyerFood served to customers at restaurants can become contaminated in multiple ways, and in these cases, people can suffer serious illnesses due to food poisoning. While there are many different types of bacteria, viruses, or other substances that can make foods dangerous, salmonella is one of the most common sources of foodborne illnesses. People may become infected with this type of bacteria if they eat meat that is not cooked properly, and the bacteria may also be spread if a restaurant employee does not wash their hands, if preparation surfaces and utensils are not sanitized correctly, or if food is not refrigerated or stored properly. Recently, multiple people in McHenry County contracted food poisoning due to salmonella, and this outbreak was linked to a Mexican restaurant in Fox River Grove.

El Sombrero Restaurant Closed Due to Salmonella Outbreak

Over the 2021 Labor Day weekend, several people in McHenry County received treatment for salmonella-related illnesses, and the county’s health department traced these infections back to El Sombrero, a restaurant in Fox River Grove. The restaurant has remained closed while this outbreak is being investigated. While the health department did not specify the number of people who contracted infections, it asked anyone who ate at the restaurant between August 23 and September 3 to complete a survey to provide information about their health, regardless of whether they had experienced any symptoms of food poisoning. The results of this survey provided officials with a picture of how the outbreak may have spread and affected people throughout the area.

The health department also asked people who work in “sensitive occupations” to stay home from work if they had experienced any symptoms of gastrointestinal illness after eating at the restaurant in question. These workers include people in the healthcare industry such as doctors or nurses, those whose work involves handling or serving food, and daycare workers who could potentially spread the infection to children. 


Illinois Salmonella Outbreak LawyerFoodborne illnesses are an ongoing concern for people in the United States. Multiple types of diseases may be spread through contaminated foods, and products are often recalled because they have been found to contain harmful viruses, bacteria, or other toxic substances. Salmonella is one of the most common sources of food poisoning, and it can cause serious health issues for those who are infected. One of the most recent outbreaks of food poisoning due to salmonella involved prepackaged Italian-style meats.

Fratelli Beretta Meats Recalled Due to Salmonella Contamination

From May to July of 2021, people in multiple states reported salmonella infections after eating meats in products manufactured by Fratelli Beretta. Illnesses were reported in 17 states, with the most cases occurring in Illinois, California, and Arizona. After an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Fratelli Beretta issued a recall of Uncured Antipasto trays.

The recall included over 800,000 pounds of products that were sold in grocery stores throughout the United States. The recall was limited to one specific Uncured Antipasto tray product that contained two 12-ounce packages of prosciutto, salami, soppressata, and coppa meats. However, the CDC is recommending that consumers avoid eating any Fratelli Beretta brand Uncured Antipasto products that have “best by” dates through February 11, 2022. Many people may still have these products stored in their refrigerators. In addition to the infections that have already been investigated, additional cases related to the outbreak may not yet have been reported, since it can take three to four weeks to determine whether an infection occurred because of one of the contaminated products.

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