BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington McDonald’s restaurant is closed while the McLean County Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health investigate a suspected case of salmonella contamination at the restaurant.
Owners Bob and Julie Dobski voluntarily closed the restaurant at 2410 S. Main St. Wednesday night for the Thanksgiving holiday and chose not to reopen, said the county health department communications director, Kera Simon.
“They felt it was in the best interests of their patrons until we know more,” Simon said. “They have worked with us and cooperated with us through the holiday weekend.”
Bob Dobski issued a statement Monday night saying that his company, which operate all the McDonald’s restaurants in the Twin Cities, McLean and Gibson City, is cooperating fully with the health department’s investigation.
“The health and safety of our customers and employees is a top priority,” he said. “Nothing is more important to me than operating a safe and clean restaurant.”
Dobski added Wednesday that all employees are being paid while they are off work because of the unexpected closing.
Confirmed salmonella cases from a variety of restaurants in Central Illinois range from Oct. 18 to Nov. 11, said Simon, and most likely were a result of human transmission and not a specific food. The McDonald’s in Bloomington was the only McLean County site in question.
“All of the employees are being tested and the restaurant will not reopen until they have enough staff who have been confirmed they are safe to serve,” said Simon, adding, “We are still early in the investigation. It was a low number of cases, less than 10, but it was not a mild strain of salmonella.”
Symptoms of salmonella include fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. This specific strain of salmonella — Salmonella Stanley — occasionally produces bloody diarrhea.
Individuals at severe risk of complications from salmonella include elderly, infants, and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Substantial information connecting the restaurant to the cluster of salmonella cases was discovered last week.
Routine food inspections are conducted by the health department one to four times a year, depending upon the risk assessment classification assigned to an establishment. There also are re-inspections that can be unannounced.
The McDonald’s on South Main was last inspected on Oct. 10 and received a score of 98 (out of 100). The restaurant has been inspected eight times in the last two years and six of the eight times, received a score above 90. A Feb. 6, 2012, inspection netted a score of 82 and an unannounced inspection nine days later earned a score of 89.