Subway Salmonella Victim Speaks Out

By: Kimberly Brown Email
By: Kimberly Brown Email

Candy Johnstone said she is one of the victims of the salmonella outbreak linked to subway shops throughout central Illinois. She said she ate a veggie sub at the location on 7th street in Rochelle about three weeks ago. It was the same time these illnesses started being reported.

“I was either sleeping or in the bathroom. It was just terrible pains, and by Sunday I realized it was worse than a flu or common cold or something so I went to the emergency room," Johnstone said.

State health reps said the 7th street location in Rochelle is being investigated because of two cases reported in Ogle County. The attorney for this shop issued a statement. In part, it said they've taken precautionary measures by destroying lettuce, green peppers, red onions, and tomatoes that are suspected ingredients for the outbreak. Subway corporate managers said all Subway locations have done this. They too, issued a statement today explaining they have high standards for produce vendors, and that all produce is checked by Subway and by third party auditors.

Now feeling better, Johnstone said her Subway eating habits may change.

"They might change a little bit initially. And then I'll let my guard down and go back to regular."

Doctors said symptoms to look out for are, "nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and perhaps fever associated with it. Some people also complain of abdominal cramping which is very common," Dr. Rhodessa Capulong said.

And regular hand washing is key to prevention.

"Especially with poultry or raw meat and eggs. So, really adequate and rigorous hand washing when handling food."

But for any doubt, they said see a doctor.

Johnstone said she was later told by doctors she did have salmonella. That's when she said the state contacted her. Even though state health department leaders said that the 7th street location is the one being investigated for the two cases reported in Ogle County, the attorney for the shop said there's been no positive confirmation this location is associated with those two cases.

Corporate managers tell 23 News they are trying to find out a source for the outbreak and also if a certain shipment of product is to blame since the outbreak was regional.

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  • by Mr. G Location: Orland Park, IL on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:39 PM
    I got sick from the Subway at 159th and WOlf road. A subway served by Reinhardt. I had on Memorial weekend symptons of Vomiting, and diarrea all at the same time for a period of two days. It was unreal. I had never had such before. I reported this to the Cook COunty Health dept that takes this info but nothing was done. The Manager of this subway and I did talk but his interst level was more ablout the rich neighboorhood I live in and all the friends he has there. Wow an idiot! Subway's website also received my information but noone from subway has contacted me from corporate. I have read enough to know that no one at Subway has done anything with malice but calus attitudes are in the supply chain. Too Bad. People should look at every place where they eat. If the interior is dirty and unkept you can take your chance or walk out. Subways are typically very clean. The small mom and pop fast food joints can be more dangerous than a subway.
  • by The Law Group, Ltd. Location: Chicago, Il on Jun 17, 2010 at 03:08 PM
    CHICAGO LAW FIRM, THE LAW GROUP, LTD., RETRACTS ASSOCIATION OF SUBWAY SALMONELLA OUTBREAK TO REYES HOLDINGS L.L.C., D/B/A REINHART FOODSERIVCE, L.L.C. CHICAGO – June 17, 2010 -- THE LAW GROUP, LTD., currently investigating the first Statewide Class Action against Subway Restaurants, on behalf of all residents of Illinois who allegedly sustained injuries associated with Salmonella bacteria after eating a Subway sandwich, retracts the association of the outbreak to Reyes Holdings L.L.C. d/b/a Reinhart FoodSerivce, L.L.C. The Law Group has been contacted by Reinhart FoodService, L.L.C. and it has advised The Law Group that Reinhart FoodSerivce, L.L.C. is not associated with this outbreak.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2010 at 09:55 AM
    Larry, the belvidere subway is so busy that vegetables are turned over extremely fast. not a thing in that store that is not frozen lasts more than 48 hours.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2010 at 07:16 AM
    Amanda you are nothing but an ambulance chaser. If I was Reinhart I would sue you for slander because none of the product tested positive, it was only suspected. Also none of the product came from Reinhart. These stores are serviced by Sysco Lincoln, IL. (for now) This particular issue has nothing to do with handwashing. If bad product was delivered, it was already eliminated as all "questionable" product was destroyed.
  • by Amanda Kluszczynski Location: Chicago on Jun 10, 2010 at 02:42 PM
    Both the source and distributor of the Salmonella have been identified. The bacteria was present in the tomatoes, lettuce, green peppers, and red onions that were distributed to several Subway restaurants by Reinhart Foodservices. The Law Group LTD is now investigating a class action lawsuit against subway restaurants for distributing sandwiches containing a rare strain of the bacteria Salmonella known as Hvittingfoss between May 11 and May 25th, 2010. This particular strand of Salmonella is extremely uncommon, as it typically affets only one to two people in Illinois every year. Symptoms, which usually present themselves from six to 72 hours after exposure, include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or stomach cramps. However, some infected individuals may not exhibit symptoms but still posses the ability to infect others. This transmission can be avoided by washing hands with soap and water often, especially after using the restroom. Currently, 68 cases of infected Illinois residents have been confirmed, 24 of which were hospitalized. However, for every one case that has been confirmed, there is a possibility of 38 other contaminated individuals. If you or someone you know has possibly been infected by this outbreak, please do not hesitate to call The Law Group LTD at 888-882-345 or go to our website at to view updates or request client services.
  • by Howard Location: New York on Jun 10, 2010 at 03:05 AM
    I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad.
  • by Robert Location: Aurora on Jun 8, 2010 at 02:41 PM
    I am not surprised in the least I am sorry to say. I no longer frequent Subway as during my last several visits I was repulsed by the terrible sanitation practices they follow. Employees handling money and then handling food with out washing their hands. This unfortunate occurance was just a matter of time
  • by Larry Location: Belvidere on Jun 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM
    The Subways in belvidere have made me sick a couple of times.Mstly from rotton veggies. I walked in the one on state st on day and could smell the veggies when i walked in, kinds reminded me of silage. i turned around and walked out. never again.
  • by theresa on Jun 6, 2010 at 07:42 AM
    What has happened to the food industry in the USA? I'm leery of buying red meat, poultry, our tap water in IL tastes like pure bleach. I've had food poisoning from a frozen dinner purchased at a grocery store. I'm very clean! I never heard of these illnesses back in the 70's, so what is going on? I eat at Subway OFTEN because they have fresh produce and the employees always wear disposable gloves. I may try to buy frozen veggies this week, still not sure if THAT will be okay. WHY can't these things be traced quickly? Good lord!
  • by Joe Location: Rochelle on Jun 4, 2010 at 09:02 PM
    What the media won't tell you is that the health department was in every single IL Subway in these counties over the last few days sampling product and that no tainted product was found. This case has nothing to do with operations or hygeine. It can't even be linked to a Subway product. Even so, any product that was delivered during the questionable time was voluntarily destroyed by the Subway owners with 3rd party verification. Of course media outlets only want big news.
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