The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a salmonella outbreak in six states involving a strain that is ‘more severe than expected.’ Ten people infected with this particular strain have been reported, according to the agency, eight of whom where hospitalized. In addition, the CDC says that one person in California has died as a result of infection from this outbreak.
The CDC issued an advisory on the salmonella outbreak on November 1, saying that it and the USDA-FSIS are investigating reports of illnesses caused by strain Salmonella Dublin. Reports of the illnesses started rolling in on August 8, with the most recent having been reported on September 8.
Officials found that 89-percent of people infected in this outbreak had to be hospitalized and that 50-percent of them tested positive for salmonella in blood samples, which is an indication that the infections may have been more severe. This isn’t terribly surprising, however, because the “Dublin” strain is able to cause bloodstream infections, resulting in more severe illnesses that require hospitalization. The agency notes that additional reports may come down the pipeline as it takes up to four weeks from the time of the illness to when it is reported.
Though a single supplier hasn’t been identified, the CDC says that officials believe ground beef may be the cause of this outbreak. The agency isn’t telling the public to stop eating ground beef — rather, it is warning that you must cook it thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160F. As well, people should be careful to clean up after handling raw beef, including washing their hands and any items/surfaces that came in contact with the meat.
When storing ground beef, the CDC says consumers should be careful to keep it separated from foods that aren’t cooked when they’re eaten, such as fruit. Ground beef should be refrigerated within two hours and should be used up within three or four days of purchase.