April 11, 2024

HelloFresh Ground Beef E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak is Number Eight of 2022

The HelloFresh ground beef E. coli O157:H7 outbreak is the number eight outbreak of 2022, with at least seven people in six states. Six people were hospitalized because they were so ill.┬áThe ground beef was in some Hello Fresh meal kits and has the establishment number “EST. 46841” stamped inside the USDA mark of inspection. The kits were shipped from July 2 to July 21, 2022.

HelloFresh Ground Beef E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak is Number Eight of 2022

The case count by state is: Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), and Washington state (1). The patient age range is from 17 to 69 years, and illness onset dates ranged from June 8, 2022 to August 17, 2022.

This is a long illness onset date range, but is explained by the fact that HelloFresh meal kits can be frozen up to two months. Some people may still have those kits in their freezers even though the date recommended for freezing has passed. Please check your freezer to see if you have any kits with ground beef that has that establishment number. If you do, throw it away and then wash your hands.

All six patients who were interviewed by public health officials said that they ate HelloFresh ground beef before they got sick. Traceback identified the establishment that produced the ground beef in those kits. And whole genome sequencing conducted on patient isolates showed that they were closely related genetically, which means that people likely got sick from eating the same food.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection usually take a few days to appear, although the incubation period can be a week or longer. Patients may experience a mild fever, nausea, and vomiting, although the characteristic symptoms are severe and painful abdominal cramps and diarrhea that is bloody.

If you  have been ill with those symptoms, especially if you ate that ground beef from a HelloFresh meal kit with that establishment number, see your doctor. You may be part of this HelloFresh ground beef E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

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