October 17, 2018

Salmonella Jouni Meats and Gab Halal Ground Beef Outbreak Sickens 22

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its latest update on the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to ground beef produced by Jouni Meats, Inc. and Gab Halal Foods of Michigan. The outbreak appears to be over, but 22 people have been sickened. Seven people were hospitalized. There were no deaths in this outbreak.

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The case count includes these patients: Arizona (1), Iowa (1), Illinois (2), Michigan (9), Pennsylvania (1), and Wisconsin (8). Illness onset dates ranged from December 9, 2012 to February 20, 2013. Patients range in age from 2 years to 87 years, with a median age of 45 years. Fifty-five percent of ill persons were male. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium that was found in the patients and in the ground beef has rarely been seen before in PulseNet.

Seven of the patients ate raw ground beef made into kibbeh at a restaurant in Michigan before becoming ill. Attorney Ryan Osterholm, who has represented clients in outbreaks like this one, said, “restaurants and consumers should be aware that serving raw or undercooked ground meat can be dangerous. Salmonella infections can cause Reiter’s syndrome, which may develop into arthritis, or can cause a blood infection that can spread to the bone marrow.”

The contaminated ground beef has been recalled, but some of it may still be in freezers in consumer’s homes. Consumers should check their freezers to see if they have the recalled products; if so, discard them. The meats were sold at Jouni Meats, Inc. in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and Gab Halal Foods in Troy, Michigan.

Ground beef should always been throughly cooked to 160 degrees F; never serve raw or undercooked ground beef or any ground meat. The bacteria, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli present on all cuts of beef is spread throughout the product when meat is ground. The only way to kill those bacteria is to thoroughly cook the meat and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.

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