Outbreak of Salmonella in Illinois Linked to Ground Beef

On June 7th, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced an outbreak of salmonella linked to ground beef. As of now, there have been 26 reported illnesses. Many people who reported being sick also reported having previously eaten undercooked ground beef. 

The dates of these reported illnesses range from April 25 – May 18. The outbreaks were reported in six different counties within the state of Illinois, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will County. There have been cases reported in other states, but they are more sporadic, and are still being investigated at this time. Additional testing is necessary to see if, in fact, they are linked to this outbreak.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working hard to investigate the outbreak of salmonella. Meanwhile, they are strongly recommending that all consumers who have ground beef in their fridge either throw the beef away, or cook the beef to an internal temperature of 160°F in order to kill the salmonella virus. 

The IDPH is working with the CDC and the USDA-FSIS to pinpoint the source for the beef and to carry out lab testing.  No manufacturer or distributor has been identified yet.

According to the CDC, symptoms of salmonella can last for 10 days to two weeks, and in some cases even longer. Symptoms include: diarrhea, bloody stool, fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, and dehydration. If symptoms last longer than 6 days or begin to escalate, it is recommended victims contact a doctor and have a stool culture performed.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of a Salmonella infection, contact your doctor immediately. Often, symptoms will persist for only a week or so, but can remain for longer periods of time and can even be life-threatening.  Salmonellosis is far more dangerous to infants, people with weakened immune systems, people who are older than 65 years old, and people with heart or joint conditions. 

The national food poisoning law firm of Ron Simon & Associates is currently investigating the outbreak. Mr. Simon has stated: “Many outbreaks of food poisoning, such as salmonella, are linked to raw meat, but just as many to flour, eggs, and vegetables. If food handlers and food manufacturers endeavor to keep their facilities clean and follow standard food-safety and health department policies, then outbreaks of food poisoning could be strongly reduced. We represent thousands of people who fall victim to food coming from unclean facilities or that re the result of cross contamination.”

For additional questions, call 1-888-335-4901.

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