A possible foodborne illness may have sickened 17 people who ate at the Grumpy Goat Tavern in Elgin, IL, on Saturday. The Kane County Health Department in Aurora, IL, is investigating the reports. Those suffering from “gastrointestinal disorders” had eaten from a buffet at the restaurant in The Highlands of Elgin Golf Course after participating in a golf outing, according to Tom Schlueter, a health department spokesman. He didn’t think any of them had been hospitalized. http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-salad-selection-hotel-buffet-image25982449“There’s a possible foodborne outbreak in Elgin, and we’re doing what we call ‘food investigation’ and finding out what people ate and when they
Continue Reading 17 Reportedly Sickened After Eating at Illinois Golf Course Restaurant

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a first-term Democrat in a tough re-election campaign against Republican businessman Bruce Rauner, traveled to the town of Troy, IL, near St. Louis on Tuesday to sign the so-called “cupcake bill” in the kitchen of 12-year-old baker Chloe Stirling. His signature made Stirling’s home baking business legal once again. It had been shut down by the Madison County Health Department before state lawmakers got involved with a legislative solution. Even before Quinn caught up with the baker, he bought two cups of lemonade from her little sister Sophie’s lemonade stand, set up in the driveway. The
Continue Reading Illinois Governor Signs Cottage Food Bill in Kitchen of 12-Year-Old Baker

A possible outbreak of food poisoning earlier this month sickened several people and hospitalized two in Mt. Vernon, IL, according to a news report published Tuesday. The sicknesses occurred around April 6, but additional details were sketchy. One victim reportedly told local media outlets that he had become ill after attending a brunch at the Holiday Inn, where all the food was prepared by a local restaurant. Officials with the Jefferson County Health Department in Mt. Vernon said that they began receiving reports of illness on April 9. The department’s director of nursing, Becky Brooks, told the press that about
Continue Reading Food Poisoning Suspected in Southern Illinois, Two Hospitalized

There are still multiple endings that could be put on the raw-milk story told during the 2014 state legislative season. One popular theory is that the foodies and libertarians have joined hands in a great coalition to pass bills to legalize unpasteurized milk across the land. These theorists point to 40 bills introduced in 23 statehouses during the current legislative season. Another possibility is that not all that much has changed in 2014 except for the fact that raw milk advocates are now more visibly split in their ranks on the direction their movement should take. After Wisconsin’s “raw milk
Continue Reading More Battling Than Policy Changes Mark 2014 State Raw-Milk Action

According to the Grundy County Health Department, 35 people are ill after eating at Hacienda Don Villo, a Mexican restaurant in Channahon, IL. The county’s health administrator Phil Jass told Food Safety News that although patient samples are still being tested, some have tested positive for Salmonella, including one restaurant employee. At least one person has been hospitalized, Jass said. The Channahon-Minooka Patch reported that one victim with a confirmed case of Salmonella was in the hospital for four days. Hacienda Don Villo closed on Sept. 25, two days after the first illness was reported. It has since been cleaned
Continue Reading 35 Sick After Eating at Hacienda Don Villo in Channahon, IL

Health department officials of DuPage County have released a report on their investigation of Los Burritos Mexicanos – the Lomard, Ill., restaurant at the center of an E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak in June. While no specific menu item was identified as the culprit, investigators did find that food handlers weren’t properly washing their hands or washing fruits and vegetables before processing and that they were handling ready-to-eat food with bare hands and improperly washing and sanitizing food contact surfaces. One cook at the restaurant was found positive for E. coli matching the ill patrons but did not report any symptoms.
Continue Reading Issues Of Improper Food Handling At Los Burritos Mexicanos Addressed

Health officials in several Midwestern states are continuing to investigate a recent surge in Cyclospora infections from early June, but have still not identified a source. At least 258 people have now fallen ill, predominantly in Iowa, Nebraska and Texas, according to the latest case counts by state health departments. The latest case count by state is as follows: Iowa (118 illnesses), Nebraska (68), Texas (65), Wisconsin (4), Illinois (2), Kansas (1). Investigators have determined that the outbreaks in Iowa and Nebraska are directly connected, but cannot yet confirm that illnesses in Texas and the remaining states are also associated.
Continue Reading Cyclospora Illnesses in Midwest Reach 258 as Investigation Continues

Four confirmed and as many as 10 E. coli cases have been reported in DuPage County, Illinois, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune reported that a Lombard restaurant was closed Friday after being identified as the potential source of the E. coli outbreak.  The restaurant, which was unnamed by public health officials, closed Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. Melaney Arnold, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, told the Tribune that her agency was investigating other, related E. coli cases in the area.  She said lab testing was in progress.  
Continue Reading Lombard Restaurant Investigated in Connection with E. coli Cases

A rule change published earlier this year by the Illinois Department of Public Health is drawing fire this spring from raw milk advocates who object to three provisions in the proposal. These are:

  • On-farm sales would continue to be permitted, but limited to 100 gallons per month.
  • Raw milk dairies would be required to purchase equipment need to achieve Grade A certification.
  • Dairy farms would be required to maintain a log of customer names and numbers.

Illinois bans retail sales of raw milk, allowing on-farm sales under production regulations. The department wants to update those regulations and has initiated the
Continue Reading Illinois Wants To Tighten Rules For On-Farm Raw Milk Sales

State bills to require labeling of genetically engineered food are encountering a bumpy road. A house committee in Colorado heard five hours of testimony last week before voting to kill a GE food labeling bill by a 7-to-2 vote. The public hearing pitted the state’s agricultural interests against consumers favoring the “right to know.” A spokesman for the powerful Colorado Association of Wheat Growers told lawmakers that labeling GE foods would raise grocery prices. Genetically modified wheat requires fewer pesticides and less water, farmers told the committee. State Rep. Jeanne Labuda (D-Denver) said consumers have a right to know about
Continue Reading Another State Bill for GE Food Labeling Struck Down