Pars Cove Booth at 2007 Taste of Chicago Salmonella OutbreakOn July 11, 2007, the City of Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that it was investigating a Salmonella outbreak that appeared to be linked to the consumption of foods served at the Pars Cove Persian Cuisine booth at the Taste of Chicago festival. At the time, 17 people had reported becoming ill with Salmonella, and three had been hospitalized. CDPH urged anyone who had visited the Pars Cove booth and was experiencing symptoms of Salmonella infection to contact a medical care provider and report their illness to the health department.
On July 13, CDPH announced that hummus shirazi, a fresh herb tomato cucumber salad over a bed of hummus, was the only dish served at the Pars Cove booth that was associated with illness. CDPH had yet to determine whether the hummus dish had been contaminated by an ill food worker, or if a food ingredient was the source of contamination.
By July 16, CDOH stated in a press release that 529 people had reported becoming ill with symptoms of Salmonella infection after eating at the Pars Cove booth at Taste of Chicago. CDOH announced that 50 cases had been culture-confirmed with more cases pending, and that the lab had identified 36 of the 50 confirmed cases to be Salmonella Heidelberg; seventeen hospitalizations had been reported to CDOH.
As of July 17, CDOH had received 636 reports of illness, including 66 confirmed Salmonella cases. Forty-one confirmed cases had been identified as Salmonella Heidelberg - the outbreak strain. CDOH reported that 25 people had been hospitalized after exhibiting symptoms of Salmonella infection after eating at Taste of Chicago.
CDOH issued an update on the outbreak on July 20, and stated that the public health agency had received 717 reports of illness. Lab results were pending, but 116 of the 717 cases had cultured positive for Salmonella. Of the 116, 78 had been identified as Salmonella Heidelberg. 31 people had been hospitalized.
CDPH reported that of 770 reports of illness associated with the Pars Cove booth by July 27, 2007, 158 cases had been confirmed as Salmonella, with 132 of those confirmed identified as Salmonella Heidelberg. Thirty-seven people had been hospitalized. CDPH stated that reports of illness had considerably slowed.
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