The Kenosha County Health Department has confirmed that 26 people have recently become ill with confirmed Salmonella infections in what appears to be a Salmonella outbreak tied to a common source.

The Baker Street Restaurant & Pub located at 6208 Green Bay Road in the Wisconsin city has been closed by the health department and could be the source of the Salmonella outbreak, although the health department has not released a statement regarding the restaurant’s closure, according to the Kenosha News.

Thumbnail image for salmonella-sidebar.jpgTom Stemple, an employee of Tricoli Restaurants, which owns the Baker Street Restaurant & Pub, told the Knosha News that a number of people who had eaten at the restaurant were sick with Salmonellosis, the illness caused by the ingestion of Salmonella bacteria, and that the restaurant’s owner was contacting restaurant employees to ensure they were tested for Salmonella.

“He’s gathering everyone together, trying to interview them to help find out the source of this,” Stemple said. “He’s trying to sort things out so that he can help protect everyone –his employees and the public.”

The outbreak investigation is ongoing, with the number of confirmed ill individuals increasing daily.

Salmonella infection causes severe abdominal cramping and diarrhea, which can become bloody.  Symptoms typically appear between 6 and 72 hours after the ingestion of Salmonella bacteria and include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting.  In mild cases diarrhea may be non-bloody, occur several times per day, and not be very voluminous; in severe cases it may be frequent, bloody and/or mucoid, and of high volume.

Numerous Salmonella outbreaks have been traced to the consumption of foods purchased from restaurants. The sources of such outbreaks include cross-contamination, contamination of food by ill food workers or service staff, and Salmonella-contaminated eggs, meat, and produce.  Occasionally, investigators from public health departments and environmental health agencies are unable to determine how restaurant food came to be contaminated with Salmonella, and outbreak sources are unknown.