The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has identified an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), impacting at least 50 Chicago residents. As part of the CDPH investigation, Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill located at 300 W. 26th Street has been linked to the outbreak. Following a request from CDPH, Carbón closed voluntarily and is fully cooperating with the investigation. At least 14 individuals have been hospitalized as part of this outbreak. One of the leading symptoms caused by STEC is diarrhea, including bloody diarrhea. Infection can also lead to more serious complications.
CDPH recommends anyone who recently ate at the restaurant in question and is suffering these symptoms to see a medical provider for testing and inform them of the possibility of STEC.
“This is a serious condition that is treatable,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “Anyone who believes they may be symptomatic and ate at this restaurant should see their medical provider immediately. CDPH is taking every precaution as part of our robust response in order to limit the impact of this outbreak.”
STEC can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated foods including undercooked beef, unpasteurized juice, raw milk and unwashed, raw produce. The menu items responsible for this outbreak have not yet been identified and the investigation is ongoing. Health officials continue to be onsite at the 300 W. 26th Street location and are also interviewing patients to rule out other possible exposures.
Out of an abundance of caution, the owners of Carbón have elected to withdraw participation in this year’s Taste of Chicago festival. Instead of participating as a vendor in this year’s festival, the restaurant will turn its full attention to addressing the issues at its Bridgeport location, to ensure sanitary and health conditions are in place for its impending re-opening. While there is no connection to the outbreak, as an additional precaution the owners have also voluntarily closed their second location (810 N. Marshfield) in the interim.