A ground beef E. coli outbreak has sickened 109 people in six states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today. For weeks, state and federal health officials have been searching for the source of the outbreak which began in Kentucky among a number of people with significant exposure to fast food.
While outbreak investigators have been able to determine contaminated ground beef is the source of this outbreak, they haven’t yet been able to identify a common brand, supplier or distributor. So, for now, consumers are just being advised to handle ground beef safely and to cook it to an internal temperature of 160˚ F.
Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak
Rapidly expanding over the last two weeks, this E. coli O103 outbreak now includes 109 people in six states. Kentucky has been hardest-hit with 54 illnesses. Tennessee has reported 28 illnesses, Georgia has 17, Ohio has 7, Virginia has two and one illness has been reported in Indiana.
Those sickened range in age from 1 year to 83 years old., but half of them are under the age of 18. And at least 17 of them developed such severe illness that they needed to be hospitalized.
The case-patients in this outbreak reported eating ground beef they purchased at grocery stores or ordered from restaurants before they became ill. E. coli outbreaks linked to ground beef are fairly common, but this strain of E. coli O103 is not.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection include diarrhea that can be bloody and abdominal cramps. E. coli bacteria is found in the intestines of humans and animals. Food can become contaminated with it during the slaughter process or if an infected person who handles food hasn’t washed hands properly after using the bathroom.
The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman are representing people sickened in this outbreak. For a free consultation with them about your E. coli illness, call 1 (888) 377-8900, text to 612-261-0856. Or, complete the form below. There is no obligation.