CDC says ground beef appears to be cause of E. coli outbreak

CDC says ground beef appears to be cause of E. coli outbreak

CDC says ground beef appears to be cause of E. coli outbreak

In a statement released today (April 12), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that, based on interviews with the sick people, preliminary evidence suggests that ground beef is the source of the outbreak.

People sickened by the outbreak reported eating ground beef both at home and in restaurants.

Seventeen ill people have been hospitalized.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurants where ill people ate. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.

The CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

Federal, state and local health officials are continuing to investigate. They begin, on average, three to four days after ingesting the bacteria.

While the infection usually only lasts five to seven days, STEC infected people can also develop a potentially life-threatening condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is one type of kidney failure.

There have been 109 confirmed individual cases of E. coli infection, so far. No deaths have been reported in relation to the outbreak.

Over the past year, E. coli prompted widespread recalls of romaine lettuce, but that outbreak was declared over in January.

While the CDC has identified ground beef as a culprit, the agency is not recommending people to avoid consumption of ground beef.

Rather, consumers and restaurants are encouraged to make sure ground beef is thoroughly cooked and that appropriate sanitation and handling takes place. "Wash hands with soap and water after touching raw ground beef".

"To kill harmful germs, cook beef steaks and roasts to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit and allow to rest for three minutes after you remove meat from the grill or stove", the CDC advises. After cooking the beef, refrigerate it within 2 hours and use it within 3 or 4 days.

Those who suspect they are infected with E. coli should talk to a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

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