6 hospitalized with salmonella, outbreak linked to Morgan Park restaurant

CHICAGO -- Chicago health officials have linked a salmonella outbreak to a barbecue restaurant in the city’s Morgan Park neighborhood on the far south side.

The Best BBQ Restaurant on 115th Street near Ashland Avenue has voluntarily closed because of a salmonella outbreak.  The restaurant has a history of health violations.

At least 14 people got sick during this outbreak with at least six of them going to the hospital and officials at the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) said it was discovered by health officials who noticed an unusual uptick in cases.

“In this case we saw this spike in our regular disease surveillance, reached out to patients and identified multiple patients who had nothing else in common besides having eaten at this restaurant,” Dr. Allison Arwady, Chief Medical Officer at the Chicago Department of Public Health, said.

The restaurant is co-operating with the CDPH. They’re also providing city investigators with a list of their food suppliers.

Salmonella is a bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps or worse.

“They can get this bacteria, it can move from their intestines to their blood stream and, there can be some people who die of salmonella, so we do take it very seriously," Dr. Arwady said.

The health department said most people get better without serious treatment, but it can be severe and even fatal in infants, the elderly and anyone with a weak immune system. It can be treated with antibiotics.