Outbreak Investigation Updates by Date

May 13, 2019 at 11:00 AM ET

April 26, 2019

Since the last update on April 23, 2019, 21 more ill people were added to this outbreak.

As of April 25, 2019, 177 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from 10 states. CDC is reporting the 177 illnesses that the PulseNet laboratory network has confirmed are part of this outbreak. States are investigating additional illnesses that might be a part of this outbreak. A list of the states and the number of confirmed cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates from March 1, 2019, to April 14, 2019. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 84 years, with a median age of 18. Fifty-one percent are female. Of 143 people with information available, 21 (15%) have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after March 29, 2019, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.

Investigation of the Outbreak

This multistate investigation began on March 28, 2019, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified CDC of this outbreak. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that ground beef is the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of the 125 people interviewed, 100 (80%) reported eating ground beef. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey pdf icon[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy people. Ill people bought or ate ground beef from several different grocery stores and restaurants. Many ill people bought large trays or chubs of ground beef from grocery stores and used the meat to make dishes like spaghetti sauce and sloppy joe.

Officials at USDA-FSIS, in Kentucky, and in Tennessee collected ground beef from a restaurant and an institution where ill people reported eating. Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 in the ground beef collected in Tennessee. E. coli O103 was identified in the ground beef collected in Kentucky, but laboratory results are pending to determine if it is closely related to the E. coli O103 identified in ill people.

Two companies recalled raw ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli. Grant Park Packing in Franklin Park, Ill., recalledexternal icon approximately 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef products on April 24, 2019. K2D Foods, doing business as Colorado Premium Foods, in Carrollton, Ga., recalledexternal icon approximately 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef products on April 23, 2019. These products were sold to restaurants and institutions.

USDA-FSIS and state regulatory officials continue to collect products for testing and continue their traceback investigations to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurants where ill people ate. At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified that could account for the whole outbreak. Consumers should handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly.

CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

April 23, 2019

Since the last update on April 12, 2019, 47 more ill people were added to this outbreak.

As of April 23, 2019, 156 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from 10 states. CDC is reporting the 156 illnesses that the PulseNet laboratory network has confirmed are part of this outbreak. States are investigating additional illnesses that might be a part of this outbreak. A list of the states and the number of confirmed cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates from March 1, 2019, to April 7, 2019. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 83 years, with a median age of 19. Fifty percent are female. Of 127 people with information available, 20 (16%) have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after March 26, 2019, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.

Investigation of the Outbreak

This multistate investigation began on March 28, 2019, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified CDC of this outbreak. Preliminary epidemiologic information suggests that ground beef is the source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of the 114 people interviewed, 92 (81%) reported eating ground beef. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey pdf icon[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy people. Ill people bought or ate ground beef from several different grocery stores and restaurants. Many ill people bought large trays or chubs of ground beef from grocery stores and used the meat to make dishes like spaghetti sauce and sloppy joe.

USDA-FSIS and state regulatory officials are continuing their traceback investigations to determine the source of raw ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurants where ill people reported eating. At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified. Consumers should follow steps to handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly.

CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

April 12, 2019

Since the last update on April 9, 2019, 13 more ill people were added to this outbreak.

As of April 12, 2019, 109 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from six states. CDC is reporting the 109 illnesses that the PulseNet laboratory network has confirmed are part of this outbreak. States are investigating additional illnesses that might be a part of this outbreak. A list of the states and the number of confirmed cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates from March 2, 2019, to March 26, 2019. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 83 years, with a median age of 18. Fifty-three percent are female. Of 81 people with information available, 17 (21%) have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after March 20, 2019, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.

Investigation of the Outbreak

This multistate investigation began on March 28, 2019, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified CDC of this outbreak. Preliminary epidemiologic information suggests that ground beef is the source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Sixty-three (84%) of 75 people interviewed reported eating ground beef. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey pdf icon[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy people. Ill people bought or ate ground beef from several different grocery stores and restaurants. Many ill people bought large trays or chubs of ground beef from grocery stores and used the meat to make dishes like spaghetti sauce and sloppy joe.

Traceback investigations are ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurants where ill people ate. At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified. Consumers should follow steps to handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly.

CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

April 9, 2019

As of April 8, 2019, 96 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from five states. CDC is reporting the 96 illnesses that the PulseNet laboratory network has confirmed are part of this outbreak. States are investigating additional illnesses that might be a part of this outbreak. A list of the states and the number of confirmed cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates from March 2, 2019, to March 26, 2019. Ill people range in age from 1 to 81 years, with a median age of 17. Fifty-one percent are female. Of 67 people with information available, 11 (16%) have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome have been reported.

This investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections. State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started. Federal and state regulatory officials use that information to guide efforts to identify a contaminated food and trace it to its source. Learn more about how public health and regulatory agencies investigate a foodborne disease outbreak.

CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

April 5, 2019

CDC, several states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O103 infections. This investigation includes E. coli O103 infections recently reported by the Kentucky Department of Public Healthexternal icon.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on E. coli bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE. WGS performed on E. coli from ill people in this outbreak showed that they are closely related genetically. This means that the ill people are more likely to share a common source of infection.

As of April 4, 2019, 72 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from five states. CDC is reporting the 72 illnesses that PulseNet has confirmed are part of this outbreak. States are investigating additional illnesses that might be a part of this outbreak. A list of the states and the number of confirmed cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates from March 2, 2019, to March 29, 2019. Ill people range in age from 1 to 74 years, with a median age of 17. Fifty-five percent are female. Of 47 people with information available, 8 (17%) have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) have been reported.

This investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections. State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started.

CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

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