Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Ground Beef

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Posted December 12, 2018 at 3:30 PM ET

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to ground beef produced by JBS Tolleson, Inc.

Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, and Retailers
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At A Glance

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  • Check your freezer for beef recalled by JBS Tolleson, Inc., of Tolleson, Arizona, and do not eat, serve, or sell it. These beef products, including ground beef, may be contaminated with Salmonella.
    • Recalled beef products were produced and packaged from July 26, 2018, to September 7, 2018 and were shipped to retailers nationwide under many brand names.
    • The company recalledExternal 6.9 million pounds of beef products on Oct. 4, 2018, and then recalledExternal an additional 5.2 million pounds of beef products on Dec. 4, 2018.
    • When you check your freezer for recalled beef, look for beef labeled with the establishment number “EST. 267.” This is usually found inside the USDA mark of inspection, but can be elsewhere on the package.
    • More than 100 retailers, including chain retail locations and local stores, sold the recalled beef. Stores are listed by state, in alphabetical order.
    • Visit the USDA-FSIS website for a list of stores and states where the recalled beef products were sold Cdc-pdf[PDF – 322 KB]External.
  • Return recalled beef to the store or throw it away.
  • Consumers with questions about the recall can call the JBS USA Consumer Hotline at (800) 727-2333.
  • Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from eating recalled ground beef.
  • In general, consumers and restaurants should always handle and cook ground beef safely to help prevent foodborne illness. It is important to cook ground beef thoroughly.
  • Restaurants and retailers should check food storage and freezers for recalled beef products and should not serve or sell them.
    • If possible, retailers who received recalled beef products should contact their customers to alert them to the recall.
Latest Outbreak Information
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  • An additional 87 ill people from 16 states were included in this investigation since the last update on November 15, 2018. States with newly reported illnesses include: Michigan, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
  • As of December 12, 2018, 333 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 28 states.
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 5, 2018 to November 9, 2018.
    • 91 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicates that ground beef produced by JBS Tolleson, Inc. is a likely source of this outbreak.
  • On October 4, 2018, JBS Tolleson, Inc. recalledExternal approximately 6.9 million pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport. On December 4, 2018, JBS Tolleson, Inc. recalledExternal an additional 5.2 million pounds of beef products.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
Food Safety and Ground Beef
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  • In general, consumers and restaurants should always handle and cook ground beef safely to avoid foodborne illness. It is important to handle and prepare all ground beef products carefully.
    • Don’t eat raw or undercooked ground beef.
    • Cook ground beef hamburgers and mixtures such as meatloaf to 160°F internal temperature. Use a food thermometer to make sure the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. You can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it.
    • Ask that ground beef hamburgers and mixtures be cooked to 160°F internal temperature when ordering at a restaurant.
    •  Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw ground beef—including countertops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards—with soap and water.
Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
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  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • Children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65 years, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
Investigation Details

December 12, 2018

Since the last update on November 15, 2018, 87 more ill people have been added to this investigation.

As of December 12, 2018, 333 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 28 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 5, 2018 to November 9, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than one year to 99, with a median age of 40. Fifty-two percent are male. Of 274 people with information available, 91 (33%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

State and local health departments continue to ask ill people questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Of 227 people interviewed, 200 (88%) reported eating ground beef at home. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey Cdc-pdf[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy people in which 40% of respondents reported eating any ground beef at home in the week before they were interviewed.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

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