CASPER, Wyo. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies are investigating “a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Dublin infections linked to ground beef.”
As of Nov. 1, ten infection cases have been identified, including one death and eight hospitalizations.
The death was reported in California and at least three people in Colorado have contracted illnesses, the most cases found in any state:
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“Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 8, 2019, to September 22, 2019,” the CDC says. “Ill people range in age from 48 to 74 years, with a median age of 68. Eighty percent of ill people are male.”
“Of nine ill people with information available, eight (89%) were hospitalized, which is much higher than we would expect for Salmonella infections. The hospitalization rate is usually about 20%.”
Illnesses from the Samonella Dublin strain tend to be more severe since they can cause bloodstream infections, the CDC adds.
Symptoms for most people include:
- diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria
- usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment
- Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body
- Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness
“Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that ground beef might be contaminated with Salmonella Dublin and is making people sick,” the CDC says. “At this time, the investigation has not identified a single, common supplier of ground beef.”
The CDC is not advising people or retailers to stop eating or serving fully cooked ground beef at this time.
They encourage people to follow these safety tips when consuming, handling, storing or cooking ground beef:
Handling ground beef:
-Keep raw meat separate from foods that won’t be cooked before eating.
-Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after touching raw meat and before touching other kitchen items.
-Thoroughly wash countertops, cutting boards, plates, and utensils with hot, soapy water or a bleach solution after they come in contact with raw meat or its juices, to avoid contaminating other foods and kitchen items.
Cooking ground beef:
-Don’t eat raw or undercooked ground beef.
-Cook ground beef hamburgers and mixtures such as meatloaf to an internal temperature of 160°F. Use a food thermometerexternal icon to make sure the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. You can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it.
-For hamburgers, insert the thermometer through the side of the patty until it reaches the middle.
-For foods such as meatloaf, place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat.
-For casseroles and for sauces that contain ground beef, such as spaghetti sauce or sloppy joe sandwiches, check the temperature in several places.
-After cooking ground beef, refrigerate within 2 hours and use within 3 to 4 days.
-When ordering at a restaurant, ask that ground beef hamburgers and mixtures be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F.
Storing ground beef:
-Refrigerate or freeze raw ground beef within 2 hours after purchase.
-If you refrigerate raw ground beef, use within 1 or 2 days.
Store ground beef in a plastic bag on the lowest shelf of your refrigerator.
-If you break large packages of ground beef into smaller packages for freezing:Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after touching the meat or its packaging, and before touching other surfaces.
-Use hot, soapy water to clean the area where you divided the ground beef, including kitchen counters and utensils.
-Label your packages with the date they were placed in the freezer and where you purchased the ground beef.
Thawing ground beef:CDC
-The best way to safely thaw ground beef is in the refrigerator. Cook or refreeze within 1 or 2 days.
The CDC says investigation into the outbreak is on-going and further information will be made public as it becomes available.