Twenty-six cases of Salmonella identified in several counties in Illinois including Cook causing concerns about food safety
A recent outbreak of salmonella infections in the Chicago area has been traced back to ground beef, raising concerns about food safety and proper handling of meat products. The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a total of 26 confirmed cases of salmonella infection in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties, with individuals getting sick between April 25 and May 18. The exact source of the contaminated meat has not yet been identified, but health officials are urging residents to take precautions when preparing and consuming meat, in particular ground beef.
The outbreak has attracted attention due to the impact on public health and the potential risks associated with consuming contaminated ground beef. Health officials are investigating a small number of additional salmonella cases in other states, collaborating with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments. The Illinois Department of Public Health says they have not identify the source of the contaminated beef but they are conducting lab tests, in collaboration with CDC and the USDA-FSIS to identify where the contaminated beef came from.
Salmonella bacteria is responsible for causing approximately 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most people who contract Salmonella recover without specific treatment so the numbers may be significantly underestimated as many cases aren't reported.
Salmonella is a common cause of foodborne illness, leading to more hospitalizations and deaths compared to other foodborne illnesses in the United States.