Ground beef tainted with salmonella has led to 10 known infections across six states, including eight people so ill they had to be hospitalized, and one death.
“Illnesses in this outbreak are more severe than expected for salmonella,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement issued Friday.
So far, infections have been reported in Colorado (3 cases), California (2 cases), Kansas (2 cases), Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas, the agency noted.
“Interviews with ill people and laboratory evidence indicate that ground beef is a likely source of this outbreak,” the CDC added, but “a single, common supplier has not been identified.”
For now, the CDC isn’t advising that people stop eating ground beef, but beef should be cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
People should always also wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching any raw meat, the CDC said. All ground beef should be refrigerated or frozen within 2 hours of purchase.
Salmonella is a serious gastrointestinal illness that typically leads to diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps between 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria, the CDC said. Children under 5, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.
“This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available,” the agency said.