Healthy Living

E. Coli Outbreak Update: Ground Beef Blamed For Infection In 6 States

Per the latest update from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mysterious E. coli outbreak that happened recently and affected dozens of people throughout six states may have come from or is linked to ground beef.

However, at the moment, neither brand nor supplier have been identified yet.

A sudden outbreak

The outbreak began earlier this year back in March, with more and more cases piling up. As a matter of fact, 109 people have already been affected and contracted the same strain of E. coli, with the people coming from different states such as Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. So far, 17 of these people have already been hospitalized with no reported deaths.

Symptoms of the infection include vomiting, bloody diarrhea and severe stomach cramps.

Investigators assigned on the case have asked those affected about the food they ate before they became ill. 84 percent of 63 percent of the 75 people they questioned all answered the same thing: ground beef. According to the investigators, many of these people bought trays of ground beef at the grocery store.

As a preventive measure against the outbreak, the CDC issued a warning to the locals, stating that if you’re planning on consuming ground beef, make sure that it’s cooked and handled carefully. To be able to fully kill E. coli, ground beef needs to be heated to at least 160 F as anything less hot won’t kill the germ.

The CDC also warned that beef should be refrigerated two hours after getting cooked and needs to be consumed within three to four days. If you’re putting ground beef on a dish like lasagna, make sure to check the temperature in various places before serving it.

As an added measure, make sure to keep raw beef away from food that you won’t be eating. As always, washing your hands (as well as anything you will use like knives and spoons and forks) with warm water is needed.

After swallowing the bacteria, people usually feel its symptoms within 3 to 4 days.