The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with local health departments, the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to ground beef.

It's totally understandable that when something like a salmonella outbreak occurs close to home your first impulse might be to stop wanting/buying/eating whatever item is involved in the outbreak. However, the IDPH isn't calling on Illinois residents to give up on ground beef just yet.

They say a lot of the problem is the cooking temperature of the ground beef. In order to make it safe, you're supposed to cook it to a certain temperature, which is...hold on...

Hygienic food handling procedures
Just a sec, I'll think of it. (Getty Images)

Or, maybe it's

Hygienic food handling procedures
It's coming to me now..(Getty Images)

Or, it could be...

A hamburger being cooked and prepared in a home kitchen.
Oh, well. Can't remember. (Getty Images)

Illinois' Current Count Of 26 Cases Of Salmonella Includes Chicago, Along With DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will And Suburban Cook Counties

In most cases, when something like this happens, the source of the outbreak is identified by health officials. However, in the case of the current salmonella outbreak in the Chicago area, the IDPH and its partnering agencies have not identified the source of the ground beef.

Officials have yet to identify a source of the ground beef, yet are reminding residents to always cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees and to check the temperature with a food thermometer.

Several of the patients reported eating uncooked ground beef prior to infection.

According to health officials, the date of the illness' onset ranges from April 25 to May 18, with a small number of cases in neighboring states also under investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and state health departments.

Getty Images
Getty Images

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