At least 17 people became ill with Salmonella infections after visiting a particular booth at the Taste of Chicago festival, held last weekend.  The Pars Cove Perisian Cuisine booth at Taste was the common denominator among victims of a Salmonella outbreak that sent at least three people to the hospital, according to the Chicago Tribune.

City of Chicago health department workers are investigating
what is believed to be the first food poisoning outbreak traced to food served at the festival in 20 years.  Foods eaten at the Pars Cove booth included cucumber hummus and pomegranate chicken.

In a story for the Chicago Tribune, Emma Graves Fitsimmons and Robert Mitchum reported on the Salmonella outbreak:

In recent days, state labs have confirmed nine cases of stomach illness caused by the Heidelberg strain of salmonella. The number of victims could increase as doctors report patients with salmonella and more serotyping and interviews are completed, she said.

As news of the salmonella outbreak spread Wednesday, the Persian restaurant at 435 W. Diversey Pkwy. was still open for business. Health officials inspected Pars Cove the last two days and tested stool samples from workers for the bacteria.

The inspectors this week found several violations at the restaurant, including unsanitary conditions, improper refrigeration and mouse droppings, said Frances Guichard, director of food protection for the Chicago Department of Public Health. The eatery, which has no record of major problems with the department, was fined $250 for the rodent issues, she said.

The reporters noted that the City of Chicago sent four health department inspectors to visit each Taste of Chicago booth at least four times a day and that at one point during this year’s event, inspectors threw out food from the booth in question.