July 19, 2018

More Illnesses in Hannaford Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak

The Hannaford ground beef Salmonella outbreak has resulted in four additional confirmed illness since the supermarket chain announced a recall of store-ground hamburger on December 15.

The CDC is reporting a total of 19 patients from seven states, including four from Maine.

The outbreak is centered in the Northeast put includes confirmed cases in Kentucky and one in Hawaii. It underscores two public health issues: The growth of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in food and a chronic traceback problem involving incomplete meat grinding logs kept by retailers that mix their own hamburger.

Hannaford, a Maine-based chain with 179 stores in the Northeast, is recalling an undetermined amount of ground beef sold in its meat cases due to possible contamination from Salmonella Typhimurium.

The USDA has said Hannaford’s “limited records” have hindered the public health investigation that is attempting to find the source supplier of the contaminated meat. Retailers often take beef cuts and trim from different suppliers when grinding their own hamburger.

The CDC has said preliminary testing shows that the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. This antibiotic resistance may be associated with an increase in the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

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