November 16, 2019

Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak: Now 156 Sick in 10 States

The ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak has now sickened at least 156 people in 10 states. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty people are hospitalized because they are so ill. UPDATE: K2D Foods has recalled more than 100,000 pounds of ground beef for possible E. coli O103 contamination. But the recall notice states that “At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak.”

Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak 156 Sick

That’s an increase of 47 more patients since the last update on April 12, 2019. The states that are added to the outbreak are Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, and Mississippi.

Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about the increase in cases in Georgia and Kentucky yesterday. But the Georgia outbreak has grown by even more than the 27 ill we reported yesterday.

The case count by state is: Florida (3), Georgia (33), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (65), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), and Ohio (8), Tennessee (41), and Virginia (2). CDC is reporting the 156 illnesses that the PulseNet laboratory network has confirmed are part of this outbreak. Illness onset dates range from March 1, 2019 to April 7, 2019. The patient age range remains less than 12 year to 83, with a median age of 19.

In interviews, 81% of patients said they ate ground beef the week before they got sick, which is a much higher percentage than a survey taken of healthy people during the same time frame. Ill people e bought or ate ground beef from several different unnamed grocery stores and restaurants. Large trays or chubs of ground beef were purchased from grocery stores.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact lawyer Fred Pritzker for help at 612-338-0202 or  1-888-377-8900.

Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients who have been sickened by contaminated ground beef in lawsuits, said, “We really wish this outbreak could be solved so the increase in cases slows or stops. No one should get sick enough to be hospitalized just because they bought ground beef at a grocery store.”

Officials have still not named a common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef that is responsible for these illnesses. With this lack of information about where the contaminated ground beef was purchased, the best thing to do to protect yourself is to strictly follow food safety rules when handling ground beef.

First, if you eat ground beef at a restaurant, always make sure it is cooked to well done, and that that doneness is verified with a thermometer. The minimum safe cooking temperature for ground beef is 160°F.

Second, if you cook ground beef at home, treat it as if it was contaminated. Keep it separate from foods that are not cooked before eating. Wash your hands well with soap and water after touching raw ground beef. Wash countertops, cutting boards, utensils, and cooking equipment with hot soapy water after they come into contact with raw ground beef. Always cook hamburgers and other recipes such as meatloaf to 160°F before eating. After cooking ground beef, refrigerate within two hours and use leftovers within 4 days.

If you have been experiencing the symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include painful abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea, see your doctor. You may be part of this ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak. Write down what you ate the week before you got sick. And consider assisting public health investigators by answering questions.

The noted law firm of Pritzker Hageman helps people who have been sickened by contaminated food protect their legal rights and get answers and compensation. Our lawyers help patients and families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against schools, retailers, grocery stores, food processors, restaurants, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker won $7.5 million for a young client whose kidneys failed because he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli infection. You should know that class action lawsuits may not be appropriate for outbreak victims because each individual case is very different.

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