Possible salmonella outbreak at Southwest Side grocery store, health officials say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago health officials are investigating a potential outbreak of salmonella at a Southwest Side grocery store.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said at least four people became ill after eating pork tamales or carnitas served from the deli section at Sun View Produce in the Clearing neighborhood.

Anyone who has purchased pork tamales, carnitas or other hot foods from the small family-owned store's deli section since July 1 should throw the food away, the department said.

The agency warns that anyone who ate food from the deli between July 1 and August 5 may have been exposed to salmonella. Health officials suggest seeking medical attention if you experience high fever, severe diarrhea or symptoms of dehydration.

The implicated food items haven't been available at the store since August 5. The department said there's no evidence that food made after August 5 was contaminated.

"Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can be found on meat and it also can be spread if people don't wash their hands well before handling food," said Dr. Janna Kerins, of the Chicago Health Department. "So we work with the food workers to make sure they're handling foods properly, cooking foods to the right temperature that would kill the bacteria."

Salmonella symptoms typically last four to seven days, and most people recover without any treatment, health officials said.

ABC 7 tried to contact the grocery owners Saturday, but the store was closed. A sign on the door let customers know there was no meat service being provided. It's unclear how long the sign has been posted.

Officials believe this may be the second salmonella outbreak linked to the sale of pork carnitas in Chicago this year. The last one in February was linked to a small supermarket located in the Archer Heights neighborhood.

The agency asks that anyone who's become ill after eating food from the store to contact the department by calling 312-746-SICK.
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