In June and early July 2016, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) identified an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 (STEC), associated with the consumption of food at Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill in Chicago. CDPH officials eventually identified at least 67 cases of illness involved in the outbreak. As part of the CDPH investigation, Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill located at 300 W. 26th Street was temporarily closed. At least 16 individuals were hospitalized as part of this outbreak.
“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. According to CDPH, the menu items responsible for the outbreak were not identified.
CDPH issued an alert to area physicians of the outbreak, providing medical guidance. Medical providers who suspected STEC were requested to submit specimens for testing. CDPH recommended that Antibiotics and anti-diarrheal medicines not be used to treat STEC as they may worsen symptoms. Medical experts instead encouraged supportive medical care, including intravenous fluids, where necessary.