LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (STMW) – A north suburban bakery will reopen Jan. 3 after voluntarily recalling deserts after health officials linked tainted holiday treats to four recent outbreaks of foodborne illness which sickened at least 100 people.

Rolf’s Patisserie, a wholesale and retail sales bakery in Lincolnwood, was temporarily shut down by regulatory agencies last week as officials investigated four recent outbreaks. At least 100 people became ill after eating the bakery’s desserts at either a restaurant or party, according to a release from the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.

The bakery warned the public not to eat any of its products made after Nov. 1 and told retailers and restaurants to pull products from shelves, according to the release.

Initial laboratory tests showed one food item contaminated with high levels of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that produces toxins in foods that can make people ill. The bacteria can spread if a person with a staph infection has an uncovered lesion or sore that comes in contact with food or food processing equipment, the release said.

The toxins can cause rapid, acute symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramping, according to the U.S. FDA’s “Bad Bug Book” on foodborne illnesses. More severe cases can cause headaches or changes in blood pressure and pulse. Recovery can take two days or more, according to the FDA.

Government agencies have rigorously inspected and tested the bakery and have cleared Rolf’s to reopen, according to a release from the bakery.

The bakery discarded all ingredients and food products, retrained employees on proper hygiene, installed new practices to monitor employee sanitation, and cleaned and sanitized the facility, according to the release.

“We have spent the week resolving these issues and are committed to even more stringent sanitation precautions,” bakery president Lloyd Culbertson said. “We look forward to re-opening and safely creating the pastries and cakes that our customers have loved for over 30 years.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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