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Another Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak

Posted in Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls,Salmonella on November 2, 2019

It’s official. There is another Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak plaguing the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced just last night that 10 people are sick and one has died linked to the outbreak. It appears that is particular outbreak of Salmonella illnesses is more severe than usual. According to the CDC, “Illnesses in this outbreak are more severe than expected for Salmonella.”

Here’s what we know:

There are 10 people that have been lab-confirmed with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin in six states. Thus far, 8 of those who are ill were hospitalized, including one death reported from California.

According to the CDC:

“Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 8, 2019, to September 22, 2019. Ill people range in age from 48 to 74 years, with a median age of 68. Eighty percent of ill people are male. Of nine ill people with information available, eight (89%) were hospitalized, which is much higher than we would expect for Salmonella infections. The hospitalization rate is usually about 20%. One death has been reported in California. In five (50%) ill people, Salmonella was found in samples of blood, which indicates their illnesses may have been more severe.”

FAQs About the Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak

Can salmonella be cooked out of meat?

The simple answer is yes. Salmonella bacteria can be killed through the cooking process.

It is important that you follow proper food safety steps to handle and prepare any ground beef products, like:

  • Do not consume raw or undercooked beef.
  • Cook ground beef hamburgers or any other mixtures properly to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Always use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of any meat product. It’s not possible to know that the meat is cooked safely just by looking at it.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions about your food at a restaurant. Do enquire if you feel that the hamburgers or any other meat mixtures don’t look properly cooked.
  • Follow the four-step simple food safety at home – clean, separate, cook and chill.
  • Always separate raw meat products from fresh produce or cooked meals. This will help in preventing cross-contamination.
  • Wash the surfaces and items in the kitchen that come in contact with ground beef properly.

Why is this outbreak more severe?

In the past, Salmonella Dublin illnesses have been more severe as they can cause bloodstream infections (bacteremia), which are serious and require hospitalization.

What brand of ground beef is being recalled?

Although the laboratory evidence shows that ground beef is the likely source of this outbreak, no ground beef has been recalled at this time. The authorities are are still conducting traceback investigations. According to the CDC, “a single, common supplier of ground beef has not been identified.”

Interviews with those who are ill people report eating different types and brands of ground beef purchased from many different locations.

In better news, testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin in repackaged leftover ground beef collected from an ill person’s home in California.

Also, the outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin has been found in six samples of raw beef products from several slaughter and processing establishments. The samples from these establishments were collected as part of the USDA FSIS’s routine testing according to the Salmonella performance standards. Whole Genome Sequencing showed that the Salmonella strain from these samples was closely related genetically to the Salmonella found in the confirmed ill cases. The CDC says that “these results provide more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating ground beef.”

This investigation into the culprit is ongoing. The CDC will update the public as more information becomes available.

Is ground beef safe to eat again?

The CDC is not telling you to stop eating ground beef.  Their exact warning is:

CDC is not advising that consumers stop eating thoroughly cooked ground beef, or that retailers stop selling ground beef.

But they are recommending that you practice good food safety methods (as always) when preparing ground beef.

What states are affected by salmonella outbreak?

There are several, 6 to be exact.

Here’s a breakdown of the number of illnesses by state:

State Ill People
California 2
Colorado 3
Iowa 1
Kansas 2
Oklahoma 1
Texas 1
Total 10

How do I know if I have Salmonella?

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or signs after recently consuming ground beef products, be sure to visit your healthcare provider in order to get your illness properly treated and any foodborne infection reported. It is diligent reports like these that help investigators identify and subsequently eliminate the source of a foodborne illness outbreak.

How The Lange Law Firm Can Help

Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated food or water.  When corporations cause Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.  The Lange Law Firm is one of the only law firms in the nation focused on representing families in food poisoning lawsuits.

If you got sick in this latest Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we can help.  Our Salmonella lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your Salmonella food poisoning.  Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.

By: Candess Zona-Mendola, Editor (Non-Lawyer)