McDonald’s restaurant employees cleared by lab results to return to work

With the support of the McLean County Health Department (MCHD), the McDonald’s restaurant on South Main Street in Bloomington will reopen for business following laboratory results that cleared employees to safely run the establishment and serve food to the public.

MCHD and the local establishment approved reopening at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, with condensed hours. The establishment closed Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving, and the owners chose to voluntarily keep the establishment closed while cooperating with the MCHD investigation.

MCHD and the Illinois Department of Public Health are still investigating the source of the salmonella cluster, which originated from individuals who reported eating at a variety of different restaurants in Central Illinois from Oct. 18 to Nov. 11. Not all cases in the investigation have a relationship to the McDonald’s restaurant on South Main Street in Bloomington, and the investigation at this time is focused on preventing further spread of illness.

The suspected transmission of salmonella related to this cluster does not seem to be a certain food, but rather human transmission. As a result, MCHD collected samples from all employees of the establishment to test for infection out of an abundance of caution. All samples collected from surface-testing in the establishment were free of salmonella bacteria.

At this time, 12 reported Salmonella Stanley cases have been confirmed through laboratory testing in McLean County. Not all 12 cases have relationships to McDonalds on South Main Street in Bloomington, so the health department advises citizens to take precautions against further spread of illness.

“This scenario could occur at any place of business, restaurant or home,” McLean County Health Department Director Walt Howe said. “As we enter the holiday season, it’s important to remind people that if you’re sick, stay home to protect family, friends or co-workers from becoming sick. Healthy individuals should wash their hands diligently and use a barrier, such as a napkin or a paper towel, to turn off faucets or open doors in public facilities.”