Public Health Alert – 7 Cases of Salmonella in Illinois Linked to Nationwide Outbreak
The Illinois Department of Public
(IDPH), along with local health departments in
Illinois, is collaborating with the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and
Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to investigate a
multistate outbreak of Salmonella ser. Heidelberg
infections likely caused by eating ground turkey.
A total of 77 people infected with the outbreak
strain have been reported from 26 states between
March 1 and August 1, 2011. Of the seven cases in
Illinois with the same type of Salmonella as the
outbreak, at least one person has been hospitalized.
Reports of illness started on March 21, 2011 with the
last case becoming ill on July 29, 2011. Cases range
in age from 3 to 60 years and were reported in Cass,
Cook, DuPage Madison, Peoria, Will and Williamson
IDPH is reminding people to follow all food safety
recommendations to avoid potential illness. Ground
turkey must be cooked to a minimum internal
temperature of 165? Fahrenheit to kill Salmonella
bacteria. Use a food thermometer to check the
temperature as color is not always an indicator of
doneness, nor is following cooking instructions on
the food package. It’s also important to make sure
raw poultry and its juices do not come into contact
with produce, cooked foods or food that is ready to
eat. After handling raw poultry, make sure to
properly wash with soap and water hands, cutting
board, plates, knifes and anything used to prepare
the raw poultry.
Signs and Symptoms
Most people infected with Salmonella bacteria develop
diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours
after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7
days, and most people recover without treatment.
However, for some people, diarrhea may be so severe
that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
Salmonella infection may spread and can cause death
unless the person is treated promptly with
antibiotics. Older adults, infants, and those with
impaired immune systems are more likely to have a
severe illness from Salmonella infection.
CDC is partnering with state health departments to
monitor the outbreak while FSIS focuses its
investigation on potential identification of a
contamination source(s). Any potential contamination
source(s) information will come from the USDA.
The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in
English and Spanish and can be reached from 9 a.m. to
3 p.m. (Central Time) Monday through Friday.
Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours
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