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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Jul 04, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The number of people confirmed or suspected of salmonella poisoning from an Illinois restaurant is growing.
Lake County Health Department officials said the count escalated to 11 confirmed and 98 suspected salmonella cases from patrons of a Chili's restaurant, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald reported Friday.
Wednesday there were seven confirmed and 23 potential cases.
Seven victims were hospitalized Thursday, health department spokeswoman Leslie Piotrowski said. Although salmonella infections occur from eating contaminated food, investigators are leaning toward an infected food handler's lack of handwashing after going to the washroom as the cause of the Chili's outbreak.
Salmonella is a bacterial disease involving the colon and small intestine.The symptoms usually develop within 12 to 36 hours of exposure.
Chili's voluntarily closed Tuesday.
The 72 Chili's employees have been providing cotton swab cultures for the salmonella testing.
Copyright 2003 by United Press International.