A McDonald’s restaurant in Bloomington, Illinois voluntarily closed the establishment down last week after it was linked to a series of Salmonella infections out of an abundance of caution.
Health officials informed the owners of this McDonald’s, who own a total of 9 McDonald’s franchises in the Bloomington-Normal area, Wednesday night that this location had been linked to several Salmonella illnesses. The owners decided to voluntarily close the restaurant down before Thanksgiving, which was the following day.
According to Keri Simon, communications director for the McClean County Health Department, less than 10 Salmonella cases have been reported. The people affected by the bacteria report eating at this McDonald’s between October 18th and November 11th, according to the county health department, which is conducting the investigation, along with the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The illnesses do not appear to be linked to a specific food served in the restaurant, say county health officials, noting that the investigation is still in its early stages. “The suspected link does not seem to be a certain food, but rather human transmission,” said the health department in its press release.
The restaurant remained closed as of Monday, but was expected to reopen when it was determined that enough employees were free of infection.
Pantagraph.com, a daily newspaper that serves Bloomington, writes that a range of confirmed salmonella cases were reported at several different restaurants in Central Illinois between October 8th and November 11th and “substantial information connecting the McDonald’s to the cluster of Salmonella cases was discovered last week.” Investigators believe the Salmonella illnesses were a result of human transmission, rather than a specific food item.
All of the restaurant’s employees are being tested and the restaurant plans to re-open once enough staff is cleared to serve food.
For about a week, these individuals have been suffering from particularly nasty cases of Salmonella Stanley, a rare strain that Food Safety News writes is “rare outside of Southeast Asia and usually appears only in people who have traveled there.”
The McClean County Health Department says so far less than 10 cases have been found and that the strain is mild.
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