After more than a month, a handful of lawsuits and 68 customers affected from E. coli, Ashok Selvam of Eater reports Chicago’s health department has ruled that Carbón Live Mexican Grill can reopen.
However, DNAinfo reported that the health department couldn’t determine the source of the bacteria that sickened customers. The Bridgeport restaurant had been closed since late June’s outbreak.
The owners of Carbón haven’t publicly commented since their restaurant closed, and there’s no mention on their social media channels. The health department did day that they fully cooperated with officials. They temporarily closed their West Town location and also withdrew as a vendor at The Taste of Chicago as cautionary measures.
Attorneys circled around affected customers, looking for new clients to represent in lawsuits against the restaurant. There haven’t been any updates on those cases.
Taste of Chicago, an outdoor festival featuring signature dishes from over 60 restaurants happens this weekend. In 2007, over 800 salmonellosis cases were linked to hummus from Pars Cove, one of the participating vendors.
After that outbreak, organizers stepped up their food safety game:
While any Chicago-based restaurant can apply to sell food at Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Illinois Restaurant Association consider restaurant applicants’ inspection history for the previous three years before allowing them to participate in Taste. No applicants with unresolved critical or serious violations at their business are accepted or allowed to serve food at Taste of Chicago.
Additionally, all menu items are carefully reviewed and approved by the Chicago Department of Public Health with the festival’s outside environment and temperature in mind.
Carbón Live Mexican Grill, has been linked to at least 25 pathogenic E. coli illnesses including 5 hospitalizations and will not participate in Taste of Chicago, according to Chicago Eater.
CBS Chicago spoke to a one of the hospitalized patients who told the station the she ate steak tacos.
The restaurant has a second location in West Town, which ABC Chicago reported has also been closed as a safety precaution.