CDC says illness is more "severe" than expected for Salmonella.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an investigation notice regarding a Salmonella Dublin outbreak linked to ground beef that has affected people in multiple states. The notice was released on Friday, November 1, 2019.

So far 10 people from six states have been infected. Eight of those have been hospitalized and one has died. The patient who died was from California, as is one other patient; three patients have been identified in Colorado; two cases have been reported in Kansas; and three cases have been identified in Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma.

The CDC warns that illnesses in this outbreak are more severe than expected and that the outbreak is ongoing. 

They've not yet been able to identify a common supplier of the tainted beef, but have linked the illnesses to ground beef products. Those affected report eating different types and brands of ground beef purchased at various different locations. Lab testing done on repackaged ground beef found in one patient's home in California identified the strain as Salmonella Dublin.

*While the CDC is not advising that consumers stop eating properly cooked ground beef, or that ground beef is recalled or pulled from stores, they do have some recommendations and reminders for the public regarding handling, cooking, thawing and storing ground beef.

Recommendations and Reminders on Ground Beef, Courtesy of the CDC:

"Handling Ground Beef:

  • Keep raw meat separate from foods that won’t be cooked before eating.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after touching raw meat and before touching other kitchen items.
  • Thoroughly wash countertops, cutting boards, plates, and utensils with hot, soapy water or a bleach solution after they come in contact with raw meat or its juices, to avoid contaminating other foods and kitchen items.

Cooking Ground Beef:

  • Don’t eat raw or undercooked ground beef.
  • Cook ground beef hamburgers and mixtures such as meatloaf to an internal temperature of 160°F. Use a food thermometer to make sure the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. You can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it.
  • For hamburgers, insert the thermometer through the side of the patty until it reaches the middle.
  • For foods such as meatloaf, place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat.
  • For casseroles and for sauces that contain ground beef, such as spaghetti sauce or sloppy joe sandwiches, check the temperature in several places.
  • After cooking ground beef, refrigerate within 2 hours and use within 3 to 4 days.
  • When ordering at a restaurant, ask that ground beef hamburgers and mixtures be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F.

Storing Ground Beef:

  • Refrigerate or freeze raw ground beef within 2 hours after purchase.
  • If you refrigerate raw ground beef, use within 1 or 2 days.
  • Store ground beef in a plastic bag on the lowest shelf of your refrigerator.
  • If you break large packages of ground beef into smaller packages for freezing:
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after touching the meat or its packaging, and before touching other surfaces.
  • Use hot, soapy water to clean the area where you divided the ground beef, including kitchen counters and utensils.
  • Label your packages with the date they were placed in the freezer and where you purchased the ground beef.

Thawing Ground Beef:

  • The best way to safely thaw ground beef is in the refrigerator. Cook or refreeze within 1 or 2 days." 

We've also listed some information below regarding Salmonella, for your convenience.

Things to Know About Salmonella:

  • Salmonella can be spread from the intestines into the bloodstream and be carried to other places in the body.
  • Symptoms of Salmonella can last 4 to 7 days and include:
  • Diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • Illness can get so severe that hospitalization is required.
  • Young children, ages 5 and under, and adults over 65, as well as those with weakened immune systems,  are at higher risk to have a more severe bout of the illness.

The first reported case in this Salmonella outbreak was on August 8, 2019, and the other reports range from then until September 22, 2019. Though, the CDC says some who may have symptoms may not have been reported just yet, since the time it takes to become ill and then report that illness is an average of two to four weeks.

This investigation is ongoing and the CDC will update the public as more information is made available. We'll be watching this story closely and update our readers as soon as there is anything new to report. In the meantime, please follow the CDC advice and take a look at the official investigation notice for more information.

Will this Salmonella outbreak and investigation deter you from eating ground beef? Do you think the CDC should recall all ground beef products until the origin of the outbreak is found? Let us know what you think about all this in the comments and check back for updates!