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Salmonella Beef Outbreak, Again

Posted in Our Blog on July 26, 2023

On July 25, 2023, the CDC, public health and regulatory officials, and the USDA announced they are are collecting different types of data to identify the source of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul infections. Here is everything we know about this latest Salmonella Beef Outbreak:

Salmonella Beef Outbreak

As of July 24, 2023, 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported from 4 states (see map). Illnesses started on dates ranging from April 27, 2023, through June 16, 2023 (see timeline). The federal agency is investigating sixteen (16) cases of Salmonella Saintpaul infections in Connecticut (1), Massachusetts (1), New Jersey (9), and New York (5). Four of the outbreak victims have been hospitalized. There have been no deaths, thankfully.

The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the 14 people interviewed, 9 (64%) reported eating ground beef. All 9 purchased the ground beef from ShopRite locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Seven of these people specifically reported purchasing 80% lean ground beef products. Two people reported purchasing ground beef products from ShopRite but could not recall the type of ground beef.

A routine FSIS ground beef surveillance sample collected in March 2023 was closely related to bacteria from sick people’s samples. The investigation is ongoing to determine whether the current outbreak is related to ground beef.

Salmonella Beef Outbreak Recall?

Not yet. Stay tuned.  Investigators are working to identify the source of the ground beef sick people ate in this outbreak. 

The CDC on Salmonella in Ground Beef

Ground beef is a known source of Salmonella illnessesSalmonella germs live in the intestines of people and animals and can be spread through contaminated food, water, food preparation surfaces, and unwashed hands. Salmonella germs are killed when ground beef is cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Eating raw or undercooked ground beef can make you sick.

CDC Safety Tips During this Outbreak

Follow these four food safety steps to prevent getting sick from Salmonella.

  • Clean:
    • Wash any bowls, utensils, and surfaces that touch raw ground beef with soap and water before using them to prepare other foods.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after preparing raw ground beef and before touching other kitchen items.
  • Separate:
    • When shopping, separate raw ground beef from other foods in your shopping cart and grocery bags. Place packages of raw ground beef into individual plastic bags to avoid cross-contamination.
    • Keep raw ground beef separate from foods that will not be cooked.
    • Store raw ground beef in a container or sealed, leakproof bag on the lowest shelf in the fridge or freezer.
  • Cook:
    • Use a food thermometer to make sure you have cooked meat to a temperature high enough to kill germs. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, and leftovers should be heated to an internal temperature of 165°
    • Do not eat raw or undercooked ground beef.
  •  Chill:
    • Raw ground beef that has been refrigerated should be used or frozen within 1 or 2 days.
    • Refrigerate or freeze ground beef within 2 hours of cooking. If the food is exposed to temperatures hotter than 90°F, like a hot car or picnic, refrigerate or freeze within 1 hour.
    • Freeze any meat that will not be used within a few days. Although freezing can help keep ground beef safe until you can cook it, it does not kill existing harmful germs.
    • Thaw frozen ground beef in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
  • Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe Salmonella symptoms:
    • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
    • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
    • Signs of dehydration, such as:
      • Not peeing much
      • Dry mouth and throat
      • Feeling dizzy when standing up

About Salmonella

Symptoms usually begin six hours to six days after infection and last anywhere from four to seven days. However, some people do not develop symptoms for several weeks after infection and others experience symptoms lasting for several weeks. Most commonly people with Salmonella infection experience symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Some may also experience nausea, vomiting, or headache. Those infected should contact their doctor if they experience more severe symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody stools
  • Prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Making very little urine
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Dizziness when standing up

Some strains of the bacteria can cause infection in urine, blood, bones, joints, or the nervous system and cause severe disease. People who are sick with a Salmonella infection should drink extra fluids to prevent dehydration as long as the diarrhea lasts. While most people recover without treatment, antibiotic treatment is recommended for:

  • People with severe illness
  • People with a weakened immune system, such as from HIV infection or chemotherapy treatment
  • Adults older than 50 who have medical problems, such as heart disease
  • Infants (children younger than 12 months).
  • Adults age 65 or older

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 the only law firm in the nation solely focused on helping families in food poisoning lawsuits and contaminated water lawsuits.

If you got Salmonella food poisoning and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation in this Salmonella Beef Outbreak, 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.