CDC Investigation Notice Update: Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O103 Infections

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 12, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC investigation update of a multistate outbreak of E. coli O103 infections has been posted


  • Preliminary interview information from ill people suggests that ground beef is the source of this outbreak. At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified.
  • Ill people in this outbreak report eating ground beef at home and in restaurants.
  • The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurant locations where ill people ate.
  • At this time, CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid eating ground beef or retailers stop serving or selling ground beef.
  • Raw ground beef should be handled safely and cooked thoroughly to kill germs that could cause foodborne illness.
  • Since the last update on April 9, 2019, 13 additional ill people have been reported. This brings the total number of cases to 109.
  • Seventeen ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have been reported.
  • Reported illnesses began from March 2, 2019 to March 26, 2019.
  • This is the third-largest multistate E. coli outbreak reported in 20 years.
  • The multistate investigation began on March 28, 2019, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified CDC of this outbreak.
  • This is a rapidly evolving investigation. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

Advice to consumers, retailers, and restaurants:

  • Handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Consumers should cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160˚F.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after touching raw ground beef.
  • Keep raw meat separate from foods that won’t be cooked before eating.
  • Thoroughly wash countertops, cutting boards, plates, and utensils with hot, soapy water or a bleach solution after they touch raw meat.
  • Don’t eat raw or undercooked ground beef.
  • After cooking ground beef, refrigerate within 2 hours and use within 3 to 4 days.
  • Thaw ground beef in the refrigerator. Cook or refreeze within 2 days.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection.

About Shiga toxin-producing E. coli:

  • People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.
  • Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • More information can be found here:

If you have more questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.