CDC: Ground beef behind E. coli outbreak

Henrietta Strickland
April 13, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control announced Friday that an investigation into an E.coli outbreak has been tied to ground beef.

"Ill people in this outbreak report eating ground beef at home and in restaurants", the CDC said in its outbreak update. "Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurant locations where ill people ate", the announcement read.

The outbreak began in early March and has stretched across six states with 109 people reporting illness consistent with symptoms of food poisoning.

All of the sick people were infected with a strain of bacteria known as E. coli O103. The CDC suggests consumers follow steps to handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly. Of these, 17 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. No one has died.

Illnesses are now being reported in six states: Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana. Already, this is the third-largest multistate E. coli outbreak reported in 20 years, the CDC said.

The CDC recommends thorough handwashing, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking meat thoroughly and avoiding cross-contamination in food preparation areas as ways to prevent E. coli illness.

Those involved in the E. coli outbreak said they purchased or ate ground beef from several different grocery stores and restaurants. Most people recover in five to seven days.

Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination. This is especially true for pregnant women, newborns, older or elderly adults and those with weakened immune systems.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

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