When Salmonella Strikes

Each year in the United States a strand of bacteria known as salmonella causes an estimated one million illnesses. Of those affected, 19,000 will end up as admitted patients in local hospitals and about 380 will die. Salmonella infections generally result in diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fevers.

These symptoms come on anywhere from 12 to 72 hours after the bacteria enters the patient’s system. The bacteria will generally work its way out of the system without treatment after four to seven days. The dehydration and weakness that sets in complicates the healing process and often leads to hospitalization.

Other complications can include joint pain from reactive arthritis and long-lasting digestive problems. A popular Minnesota restaurant chain recently had a run-in with food borne salmonella that left at least 45 people sick. About one month after the outbreak a spokesman from the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed that the affected restaurants were cleared of bacteria, telling the public, “It’s safe to eat at Chipotle.”


Although Chipotle Mexican Grill has been in business since 1993 it has only captured the public’s attention in recent history. Currently, there are about 1,800 Chipotle locations across five countries, the U.S. included. The company employed 45,200 people in 2013, with its numbers growing each year. As a sign of the company’s massive growth, Chipotle had a net income of $327.4 million in 2013. With so many customers in so many locations each and every day, the Minnesota Department of Health was understandably concerned to learn that 17 restaurants within the state served food carrying salmonella. As a result five people were hospitalized with salmonella infections. Investigators feared that the outbreak was likely quite a bit larger than reported since these statistics rely on those who are ill to seek medical attention or call the Department themselves.


On average the state of Minnesota will see about 700 cases of salmonella infections each year; in other words, an average of almost two per day. The Department of Health urges people to report suspected cases of salmonella poisoning, or seek medical attention so that they are able to actively protect the more vulnerable members of the population. It was through the efforts of the Department that this outbreak was able to be traced back to Chipotle restaurants in southern Minnesota. Salmonella poisoning is particularly dangerous for the elderly, whose immune systems are weakened and typically have longer recoveries from illnesses, and those who suffer from chronic diseases. By giving officials notice that an outbreak may have occurred, they can trace, track, and prevent further infections quicker.

If you or someone you love has suffered from food poisoning, you may be entitled to seek compensation. Contact our Southern Minnesota salmonella outbreak lawyers at Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office today. We will help you recover for the illness you suffered.

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