A woman who claims she contracted salmonella from a salad she ate in 2011 at a west suburban Portillo’s is suing the restaurant for negligence.
Sarah Lag ate a salad on April 17, 2011 at Portillo’s, at 3895 E. Main St. in St. Charles, and shortly thereafter became ill, having developed a fever, dehydration, abdominal pain, diarrhea and other digestive symptoms, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.
When she saw a physician, Lag tested positive for a salmonella bacteria infection, according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges Lag, who was a minor at the time, has since continued to suffer lingering symptoms, including digestive problems, as a direct result of the illness.
She claims to be one of numerous individuals who became ill after eating at that Portillo’s location throughout the month of April.
After an investigation by the Kane County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health, it was determined an outbreak of salmonella had occurred at that time, the lawsuit alleges.
Health officials at the time said 13 people, who each reported eating at the St. Charles restaurant, contracted the bacteria, the Chicago Sun-Times previously reported. Of the 13 people, whose ages ranged from 17 to 64, three people were hospitalized.
Portillo’s cooperated with the investigation, discarded all food items and cleaned and sanitized the building during the investigation, previous reports said. None of the employees were allowed to return to work until they had two tests showing they were not infected.
But the lawsuit claims the restaurant was negligent by failing to maintain or monitor the sanitary conditions of its food, drink, water, premises or employees, and thus sold food contaminated with a potentially deadly pathogen that was not fit for consumption.
The three-count lawsuit is seeking at least $150,000 in damages.
A representative from Portillo’s Restaurant Group could not be immediately reached for comment Friday night.