The Chicago Department of Public Health identified an outbreak of Salmonella, impacting at least 14 people, on September 1, 2017.[1]The outbreak was detected by Chicago Department of Public Health officials’ ongoing surveillance, reviewing laboratory reports of patients diagnosed with specific diseases. Investigators recognized an uptick in a particular laboratory serotype of Salmonella cases, Salmonella Schwarzengrund, and then contacted patients to determine if there were any commonalities between the cases. This les to the determination that a number of individuals with Salmonella Schwarzengrund had recently eaten at Best BBQ Ribs restaurant, located at 1648 W. 115thStreet in Chicago, Illinois.

Food safety investigators inspected Best BBQ on August 31, 2017.[2]The inspection revealed critical violations that could have contributed to bacteria contamination, growth, and spread, including storage of meats at unsafe temperatures and inadequate measures to prevent contamination by pests and rodents.

After a request from Chicago Department of Public Health, Best BBQ voluntarily closed in order to fully cooperate with the outbreak investigation. Working with food protection inspectors, the restaurant addressed possible contamination issues to ensure that sanitation and health standards were met.

At least six individuals were hospitalized related to the Best BBQ Salmonella outbreak.