Published: Fri, April 26, 2019
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Ground Beef Apparent Source of E coli Outbreak

Ground Beef Apparent Source of E coli Outbreak

The agency said an investigation is ongoing to determine the source of the contaminated ground beef that was supplied to grocery stores and restaurants.

At this time, no common supplier, distributor or brand of ground beef has been identified. Since then, some 65 cases have been reported in Kentucky, 41 in Tennessee and another 33 in Georgia.

The beef went out in cardboard boxes with "use thru" dates of 4/14/19, 4/17/19, 4/20/19, 4/23/19, 4/28/19, and 4/30/19. Meat impacted by the recall has the establishment number "EST".

The recall notice again states that "At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak".

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Unopened intact ground beef collected from a restaurant where numerous people sickened in the outbreak ate tested positive for E coli O103, but so far there is no definitive link between the product that tested positive and the ongoing E coli outbreak. "51308" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Some people with a STEC infection may suffer more serious symptoms, including a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. At least 156 consumers have gotten sick since March 1.

"FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F", the USDA website reads. The products should be returned to the place of purchase or discarded. It can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting for around five to seven days. Symptoms usually start 2 to 8 days after exposure.

In the epidemiologic investigation, interviews with 114 sick people found that 92 patients (81%) had eaten ground beef, a significantly higher percentage than results from a survey of healthy people found. Testing of the restaurant's unopened packages of beef, which came from K2D Foods, was found to be contaminated with E. coli O103.

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