More Than 300 Illnesses Linked To Recalled Ground Beef: CDC

Federal health officials have released an updated safety alert about a recent ground beef salmonella outbreak, which has sickened hundreds of consumers across 28 different states, including at least 91 cases severe enough to require hospitalization. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a Food Safety Alert on December 12, indicating that at least 333 people have fallen ill with salmonella food poisoning after eating recalled JBS Tolleson ground beef products.

The ground beef recall was announced in October after officials received 120 reports of individuals becoming ill with salmonella poisoning in 22 states, causing dozens of hospitalizations.

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After the original recall of approximately 7 million pounds of raw ground beef products, officials expanded the recall to include an additional five million pounds, bringing the total of potentially contaminated raw ground beef products to 12,093,271 pounds.

Following the recall expansion earlier this month, officials have received 87 new reports of consumers falling ill with salmonella infection with several from states not originally linked to the outbreak.

Despite the recall and expansion, officials are keeping the investigation open out of concern that consumers may still have contaminated ground beef products in their freezer, and more illnesses may be reported due to the time it takes for symptoms to set in and be reported.

Recalled JBS Tolleson ground beef products may be contaminated with salmonella Newport bacteria, impacting packages marked with establishment number “EST.267”. The meat was sold hundreds of retailers including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Brookshire Brothers, Winn Dixie Supermarkets, Harvey’s Supermarket and many more.

To date, CDC officials are aware of the products being distributed to Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, California, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, New England, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, West Virginia, Wyoming, Georgia, Washington, Michigan and Mississippi.

Officials from the CDC and the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) are asking consumers to check their freezers for ground beef products that are marked with the recalled establishment number and JBS Tolleson brand name. Recalled products, or ground beef products that the source cannot be determined, should be thrown out to avoid potential spread of contamination and further illness.

Salmonella infections can cause mild to severe health consequences depending upon the individual. The bacteria may cause a healthy person to experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain whereas the young or elderly with weakened immune systems may face more severe consequences, including fatal infections.

In some reported cases, Salmonella infections in pregnant women have been known to cause still births and miscarriages. Occasionally, salmonella infections may travel through the bloodstream and produce illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis, which can cause severe to potentially life threatening health consequences.

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