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E. Coli Beef Outbreak Hospitalizes Hundreds

It has spread to 10 states at this point.

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Nearly 200 people have been infected by the E. coli outbreak that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes is linked to ground beef, spurring a massive nationwide recall.

“A total of 196 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from 10 states,” the CDC explained in an update on Monday. “Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that ground beef is the likely source of this outbreak… Some ground beef has been recalled, but more product contaminated with E. coli O103 may still be on the market or in freezers.”

The outbreak, which began on March 28 when E. coli was detected in a restaurant in Tennessee, has affected the following states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia.

So far, no deaths have been reported but 28 people have been hospitalized due to the outbreak, two of which had a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. Officials urge people who have consumed ground beef to contact their healthcare provider if they exhibit symptoms of E. coli which include stomach cramps and diarrhea.

While the CDC has yet to identify the specific source of the contamination, two companies have announced recalls to date:

  • Grant Park Packing recalled 53,200 pounds of bulk raw ground beef products which were shipped to Minnesota and Kentucky.
  • K2D Foods (known as Colorado Premium Foods) recalled 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef products which were shipped to cities in Florida and Georgia for use in restaurants.
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For more information on the recalls or the outbreak, customers can visit the CDC’s website or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

The CDC said that it is continuing to investigate the outbreak. However, in the meantime, the agency advises people to make sure they’re handling and storing ground beef properly and never eating raw or undercooked meat.