1 Dead, 8 Hospitalized in Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Ground Beef

November 2, 2019 Updated: November 2, 2019

One person has died and eight more have been hospitalized from an outbreak of food poisoning linked to ground beef, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A notice issued by the CDC said that regulatory officials in several states as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are investigating the multistate Salmonella outbreak.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that ground beef is a likely source of this outbreak but a single, common supplier of ground beef is yet to be identified. The investigation is still ongoing.

According to the CDC, a total of 10 people have been reported to be infected with the strain of Salmonella Dublin and one death has been reported in California.

The illnesses started between Aug. 8 to Sept. 22 in individuals ranging from 48 to 74 years old.

They noted the infections were more severe than expected as typical Salmonella infections only result in around 20 percent of people requiring some type of hospitalization.

However, Salmonella Dublin isn’t as common as other strains of Salmonella and “can be more severe because they can cause bloodstream infections, which are serious and require hospitalization,” the federal center said.

Salmonella Dublin can be difficult to treat as the bacteria is often resistant to antibiotics.

The CDC said the symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria.

Illness typically lasts between four and seven days, and most people recover without the need for any kind of treatment.

However, some people may have a severe reaction to the infection, which can spread to the intestines and bloodstream.

It said that those more at risk of having a severe reaction to Salmonella are children
younger than five and adults 65 years or older, or those with a weakened immune system.

As of Nov. 1, the illness has been reported in six states, including California, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The CDC said that people who fell ill after eating the ground beef had reported eating different types and brands of the product purchased from various locations.

Salmonella was also positively identified from repackaged leftover ground beef from an ill person’s home in California, it added.

The CDC said it is not advising that people “stop eating thoroughly cooked ground beef, or that retailers stop selling ground beef.”

However, it asks that consumers “handle ground beef carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning.”

“Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F,” it said.

The CDC will update the public with more information on the outbreak as soon as it becomes available.