In recent months, there have been numerous beef recalls due to possible contamination with pathogens like salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Just this week, a new report has emerged of a salmonella outbreak linked to ground beef. At Bad Food Recall, we understand that recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks are scary. We make it a priority to notify our readers of recalls or outbreaks as quickly as possible. This way, you have the details you need to make wise choices for your family.
Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Ground Beef
On November 1, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement that 10 people have developed salmonella Dublin after eating ground beef. At least eight people have been hospitalized and one person has died as a result of infection.
The CDC is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state public health agencies to investigate the outbreak. Public health officials are investigating but have not yet determined the source of the outbreak. Everyone who has developed salmonella Dublin infection has reported eating ground beef, but the brand and retailer varies.
So far, the salmonella Dublin outbreak is impacting six states including:
- Texas (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Iowa (1)
- California (2)
- Colorado (3)
- Kansas (2)
The patients reporting illness range in age from 48 to 74 years old. Of those, 80 percent are male. The illnesses so far have all been reported between August 8, 2019 and September 22, 2019. The CDC warns that there may be many more cases because it can take two to four weeks after exposure for symptoms to appear.
The CDC further notes that 89 percent of patients with Salmonella Dublin have been hospitalized during this outbreak. The usual hospitalization rate for salmonella is around 20 percent.
Is Salmonella Dublin Dangerous?
Salmonella Dublin is technically called “Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin.” It is a cattle-adapted bacterium that is more dangerous than many other types of salmonella. The Dublin serotype is more dangerous because it often causes bloodstream infections.
Like other types of salmonella, salmonella Dublin causes symptoms such as:
- Stomach cramps
These symptoms generally last from four to seven days. Some people experience more severe illness, however, and require medical attention or hospitalization. As noted before, bloodstream infections are a concern with salmonella Dublin as the infection can spread from the intestines to other parts of the body.
People who have a weakened immune system, the elderly, and children should be carefully monitored if they develop symptoms of salmonella.
What Can Consumers do to Avoid the Salmonella Outbreak?
The CDC investigation is ongoing and the agency is not advising consumers to stop eating ground beef. What the CDC does advise, however, is that consumers handle and cook ground beef properly. The CDC advises the following:
- Never eat raw or undercooked ground beef
- Cook all ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- Use a food thermometer to measure doneness. Don’t rely on how the meat looks.
- For hamburgers, insert the thermometer into the side of the patty. For thicker beef items, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.
- If you are eating at a restaurant, ask for ground beef products to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- When preparing ground beef, wash hands thoroughly before and after touching the meat.
- Never allow raw ground beef to come into contact with other ingredients.
- Was all surfaces and cooking tools after exposure to raw ground beef. Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher to sanitize surfaces.
- Refrigerate or freeze raw ground beef within two hours of purchase.
- Thaw frozen raw ground beef in the refrigerator. Do not allow raw beef to hit room temperature.
- If you refrigerate raw ground beef, use it within one or two days.
- Refrigerate cooked ground beef within two hours of cooking. Use cooked ground beef within three to four days.
Following these food safety practices can reduce the risk of developing salmonella Dublin. Unfortunately, without a known cause and source, there may be more illnesses before the CDC and USDA can put a stop to the salmonella outbreak.
Are You a Victim of the Salmonella Outbreak?
Most people recover from salmonella and other foodborne illnesses without experiencing complications. However, this salmonella outbreak involves a type of bacterium that is strong and causes severe illness.
Victims of the salmonella Dublin outbreak should take time to explore their rights as consumers. If consumers have medical bills or other expenses due to a contaminated product, they may be able to pursue compensation. Even though the CDC does not yet know the source of this salmonella outbreak, it is never too soon to learn about your legal rights.
To find out more about consumer rights and foodborne illness, contact Bad Food Recall. We are a food recall resource for consumers. To get free information, fill out our online form, or call toll free at 1-877-534-5750.