One person in California died and nine others were sickened in a six-state salmonella outbreak that has been linked to ground beef. According to a KTLA news report, a total of 10 people were infected with salmonella Dublin, including two in California, three in Colorado, two in Kansas and one each in Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas. Officials said that the illnesses tied to the outbreak were more severe than expected. Of the 10 who were sickened, eight were hospitalized including the unidentified California resident who died.
The Supplier Has Not Been Identified
Health officials have not yet identified a single supplier at the center of the outbreak. However, lab testing has found that ground beef is a likely source of the illnesses after six patients reported eating ground beef at home. The patients all reported eating different types and brands of ground beef purchased from different locations.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the salmonella strain was found in a leftover ground beef package left in one patient’s home in California, and in six samples of raw beef products from slaughter and meat processing facilities. The strain is closely related to the one that sickened the patients, officials said.
CDC is not advising that consumers stop eating thoroughly cooked ground beef or that retailers stop selling these products. Officials said this outbreak is a reminder that raw and undercooked beef can have pathogens in it that can not only make you sick, but also contaminate areas where food is handled. Consumers are advised to handle ground beef carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. The investigation into this outbreak is ongoing. No further details are available.
Prevention is Key
Here are a few safety tips when it comes to ground beef and preventing salmonella infections:
- Keep raw meat separate from other foods that won’t be cooked before eating.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water after touching raw beef.
- Wash all surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water after coming in contact with raw meat.
- Do not consume undercooked ground beef.
- Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, and use a food thermometer to check the temperature. When ordering at a restaurant, ask that ground beef be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees.
- After cooking, refrigerate within two hours and use within 3-4 days.
- Refrigerate or freeze raw meat within two hours of purchase.
If you or a loved one has been sickened by a salmonella infection caused by tainted food products, contact an experienced California food poisoning lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options.