Tinley Park Jewel

A salmonella outbreak may have started at a Tinley Park Jewel, county health officials said. (Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune / June 23, 2014)

A Tinley Park woman has filed a lawsuit against a local Jewel-Osco over a recent salmonella outbreak that she said caused her 11-year-old son to be hospitalized.

Colleen Ghelfi filed a lawsuit June 19 in Cook County alleging that her son ate food bought from Jewel's deli on 171st Street and Harlem Avenue on June 3 and then became ill.

Three days later, the boy began feeling sick, and his symptoms worsened over the next two days "to include bouts of water diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps," the complaint said.

On June 10, Ghelfi took her son to the emergency room. His salmonella infection was confirmed via testing, the complaint said.

Public health officials are investigating a salmonella outbreak potentially linked to the Jewel-Osco store in Tinley Park after 15 people recently became ill and four of them were hospitalized, officials said. Eleven of those people have been linked to the same strain of salmonella, according to Public Health spokeswoman Amy Poore.

County health officials are waiting for full test results from the store's food handlers. So far, 17 employees have come back negative for the disease.

They are also awaiting test results from the sick people to determine whether they all have the same strain of salmonella.

Jewel officials temporarily closed the store's service deli June 11 "out of an abundance of caution," the store's spokeswoman Allison Sperling said at the time.

Ghelfi said her son was sick for nearly two weeks and deserves compensation.

"I think Jewel needs to be held accountable for making someone so ill if it is from Jewel," Ghelfi said. She said that the Jewel has been her main grocery store.

Public health officials don't believe there's any current threat to customers from the Jewel.

Sperling, Jewel's spokeswoman, declined to comment on the pending litigation.

gpratt@tribune.com | Twitter: @royalpratt