May 29, 2024

Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak Grows to 196 Sick

The ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak has now sickened at least 196 people in 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-eight people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. Two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). No one has died. That’s an addition of 19 more ill persons since the last update on April 26, 2019.

Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak Grows to 196 Sick

The patient case count by state is: Florida (5), Georgia (49), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (69), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), Ohio (12), Tennessee (55), and Virginia (2). The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 84 years, with a median age of 19. The hospitalization rate is 16%.

The outbreak notice states that “Ill people in this outbreak ate ground beef from many sources. Some ground been has been recalled, but more product contaminated with E. coli O103 may still be on the market or in freezers.” Investigators are tracing ground beef through suppliers to try to find more potentially contaminated product.

Two packers have recalled ground beef that may be contaminated with this pathogen. K2D Foods, doing business as Colorado Premium Foods recalled about 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef on April 23, 2019. Those products have the establishment number EST. 21781 inside the USDA mark of inspection. And Grant Park Packing in Franklin Park, Illinois, recalled about 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef products on April 24, 2019; they were sold under the name North Star Imports to institutions and restaurants. Those products have the establishment number EST. 51308 inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that ground beef is the likely source of this outbreak. Patients said they ate ground beef at home and in restaurants the week before they got sick. Officials found the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 in a sample of ground beef collected from a location, which was not named, where ill persons said they ate in Tennessee.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

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

Food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker, who has represented clients sickened with E. coli and HUS, said, “This is a monster outbreak, one of the largest E. coli outbreaks in years. We hope that more recalls will be issued, and that investigators identify a common supplier so the illnesses end.”

No common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified that count account for the whole outbreak. Other products may be recalled as the investigation continues.

The CDC has included safe handling information for raw ground beef in the outbreak announcement. They include: Don’t eat raw or undercooked ground beef; cook all ground beef, including hamburgers, to 160°F and test with a food thermometer. Refrigerate cooked ground beef within 2 hours and use within 3-4 days. Refrigerate or freeze raw ground beef within 2 hours of purchase. Store it in a plastic bag on the lowest shelf of the fridge. Never thaw ground beef at room temperature. And wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw ground beef.

The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe and painful abdominal camps, and diarrhea that is bloody or watery. These symptoms usually start within 3-7 days after exposure. The symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) include little urine output, easy bruising, lethargy, pale skin, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. This complication mostly affects children under the age of 5. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor immediately. HUS, which is a form of kidney failure, can be life-threatening.

The noted law firm 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 and his team 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 different.

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