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Outbreak of salmonella in ground beef kills 1, hospitalizes 7

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about particularly severe cases of salmonella that have been reported in 10 people across six states — leaving one of those people dead and hospitalizing seven others.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is investigating the outbreak for the strain called Salmonella Dublin. A CDC outbreak map shows that cases have been reported in California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Despite this, no recall has been instigated, and there’s a reason for that: Officials have been unable to identify a specific source for the outbreak, other than simply saying it’s related to ground beef. It could come from just about anywhere along the food distribution chain, and based on the volume of ground beef currently in the marketplace, recalling every bit of it would be exceedingly disruptive. The CDC is not recommending that people stop eating the beef or that retailers stop selling it.

The CDC says to always handle ground beef carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. They note:

  • Don’t eat raw or undercooked ground beef.
  • Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F. Use a food thermometerexternal icon to make sure the meat has reached this safe internal temperature. You can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it.
  • For hamburgers, insert thermometer through the side of the patty until it reaches the middle.
  • Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat for other items.
  • Ask that ground beef hamburgers and mixtures be cooked to 160°F internal temperature when ordering at a restaurant.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching raw meat. Wash items that came into contact with raw ground beef, such as countertops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards, with hot, soapy water or in a dishwasher.

 

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