November 13, 2019

Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak Sickens 177 in 10 States

The ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak has now sickened 177 people in 10 states, with 21 hospitalized, according to the latest update provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The government has named two companies that have recalled their raw ground beef for E. coli O103 contamination in the last few days – Grant Park Packing on April 24, and K2D Foods on April 23, 2019.

Ground Beef E. coli O103 Outbreak Sickens 177

The outbreak notice states that “Restaurants, retailers, and institutions should not sell or serve the following recalled ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O103 and could make people sick.” More recalls will likely be announced, since the notice also states that “At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified that could account for the whole outbreak.”

The case count by state in this ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak is: Florida (3), Georgia (41), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (65), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), Ohio (10), Tennessee (52), and Virginia (2).  States are investigating more illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. Ill people who have been sickened in this outbreak ate ground beef from many sources. Illness onset dates range from March 1, 2019 to April 14, 2019. The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 84 years, with a median age of 18.

What’s unusual about this outbreak is that, given the young median patient age, no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) have been reported. That life-threatening condition causes kidney failure. Patients who develop that complication are usually young.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened with E. coli infections, said, “Even when you recover from this infection, there is still a risk you will develop a serious complication in the future.” Call 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202 for help.

Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker said, “It’s good that recalls are happening, but if those products can’t explain all the illnesses, the government has to do more to locate any other products that may be related to this outbreak. Let’s hope that illnesses start to decrease.”

Of the 125 people interviewed, 100, or 80%, said they ate ground beef in restaurants or that they bought in grocery stores the week before they got sick. In addition, officials at USDA, in Kentucky, and in Tennessee collected ground beef from a restaurant and an institution where ill persons ate. The outbreak strain of E. coli O103 was found in the ground beef collected in Tennessee. E. coli O103 was also found in the ground beef collected in Kentucky, but lab results are pending to see if it is the outbreak strain.

Officials are telling people to not order rare ground beef when they eat out, and to cook ground beef at home to 160°F, tested with a food thermometer. Also, avoid cross-contamination between raw ground beef, utensils, kitchen surfaces, and other foods that are eaten raw.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include painful and severe abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. Some people may also experience a mild fever and vomiting. If you have eaten ground beef in the past week and have been sick with these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak.

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