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Salmonella outbreak reminder of safe food handling practices

State public health director urges people to use safe practices when handling produce

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[June 06, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- In a proactive measure to address the multistate outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul, including 12 cases in Illinois, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, issued a warning Thursday to Illinoisans to use safe food handling practices when selecting, storing or preparing all produce.

"The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed 12 cases of salmonella that are the same strain as national Salmonella Saintpaul cases. The department is still investigating these cases to determine the source of this strain of salmonella in Illinois," said Arnold. "We strongly advise consumers to use safe food handling practices to prevent illness."

The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending people take the following steps:

  • Avoid buying bruised or damaged produce, and discard any that appear spoiled.

  • Thoroughly wash all produce under running water.

  • Refrigerate within two hours any cut, peeled or cooked produce; otherwise discard.

  • Keep produce separate from raw meats and seafood.

  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops with hot water and soap when switching among foods.

For additional information on food handling safety and food-borne illness, visit

[Text from Illinois Department of Public Health file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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