January 21, 2018

CDC Announces Multistate Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Ground Beef

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the investigation of a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to ground beef from Jouni Meats in Michigan and Gab Halal Foods in Michigan. So far, 16 people in five states have been sickened with the outbreak strain of the bacteria.

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The case count by state is: Arizona (1), Illinois (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (9), and Wisconsin (3).  Illness onset dates range from December 9, 2012 to January 7, 2013. The patient age range is from 2 to 87 years, with a median age of 48 years. Among 13 patients who provided information, 7, or 53%, were hospitalized.

Seven of the patients ate a raw ground beef dish at the same restaurant, which has remained unnamed, before becoming ill. The recipe for kibbe or kibbeh, a Middle Eastern specialty dish, is made from ground beef or lamb mixed with onions, bulgur, and various spices and served raw or cooked. Fred Pritzker, a national food safety attorney who represents patients sickened by pathogenic bacteria, has said, “ground meats are often contaminated with bacteria and consumers should be cautious about consuming dishes made with uncooked ground beef.”

The PFGE pattern for this particular strain of Salmonella Typhimurium has rarely been seen before in PulseNet and in the past has only caused zero to one cases per month in the U.S. Epidemiological and traceback investigations indicate that the ground beef produced by Jouni Meats, Inc. and Gab Halal Foods are the likely sources of this bacteria. Investigators are working to determine how the additional nine patients who did not eat at the same restaurant are linked to the recalled ground beef.

Officials at the CDC stress that it’s important to cook ground beef and other ground meats to a final temperature of at least 160 degrees F. to kill pathogenic bacteria. The recalled meat was sold directly to consumers at Jouni Meats and people may have the ground beef in their freezers. Check your freezer for the recalled beef, and always handle raw meats with care, avoiding cross-contamination and washing your hands and utensils thoroughly after contact.

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