July 14, 2024

Multistate Outbreak #5 For 2019: Ground Beef E. coli O103

The multistate outbreak in the number 5 position for 2019 is the ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak that sickened at least 209 people in 10 states. Twenty-nine people were hospitalized. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. As has happened so often this, year, no single source of contamination was identified. But two processors did recall ground beef that may have been contaminated with E. coli O103.

Multistate Outbreak #5 For 2019: Ground Beef E. coli O103

The case count  by state is: Florida (5), Georgia (51), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (76), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), Ohio (12), Tennessee (59), and Virginia (2). Illness onset dates range from March 1, 2019 to May 1, 2019. The patient age range was less than 1 year to 84 years.

Patients told investigators that they ate ground beef at home and in restaurants. The outbreak strain of E. coli O103 was found in a sample of ground beef that was collected from a location where ill people said they ate. But traceback investigations did not point to a single processor, producer, or supplier.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with E. coli food poisoning or HUS, you can contact attorney Fred Pritzker and his team for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

This outbreak had a long and complicated history. In March 2019, Kentucky officials uncovered the outbreak. Georgia chimed in with more patients. Officials first thought the outbreak was linked to fast food outlets, mostly because many of the patients were in their teens. But no fast food restaurant has been named by officials since those early reports. Three states: Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia, accounted for 186 of the 209 illnesses.

Symptoms of an E. coli O103 infection include a mild fever, perhaps some vomiting, severe and painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is bloody and watery. Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include little urine output, lethargy, pale skin, easy bruising, and bleeding from the nose and mouth. Anyone who is experiencing these symptoms needs to be taken to a doctor as soon as possible, because this infection and complication can be life-threatening. Those people may be part of this ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak.

And the outbreak notice ended with the typical warning to handle ground beef carefully. It should always be cooked to at least 160°F, whether you’re making hamburgers or meatloaf. Check the temp with a meat thermometer. And wash your hands throughly with soap and water after handling raw ground beef.


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