16 Ill From Salmonella In Ground Beef
January 30, 2013

16 Fall Prey To Ground Beef Salmonella Outbreak

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning of a Salmonella outbreak linked to ground beef.

Michigan retail stores are recalling over 1,000 pounds of ground beef that have been contaminated with Salmonella typhimurium, which has led to 16 people being sickened in five states.

One Michigan retail store has recalled nearly 550 pounds of ground beef products that may have been contaminated with the strain of Salmonella. Gab Halal Foods of Troy, Michigan recalled various size packages of ground beef wrapped in clear plastic that was sold between December 4, 2012 and December 10, 2012.

These ground beef packages were distributed to a restaurant in Macomb County, Michigan and were sold directly to consumers at the Gab Halal Foods grocery store.

According to the CDC, these products were sold without a label, so consumers are being asked to call in to find out more details about the beef they had purchased.

Jouni Meats in Sterling Heights, Michigan is recalling nearly 500 pounds of the contaminated ground beef products. These products, according to the CDC, were sold between December 4, 2012 and December 9, 2012.

The CDC is advising consumers to check inside their refrigerators and freezers for the contaminated beef and to make sure to throw it out.

So far, no one has died from the Salmonella outbreak, but 53 percent of those infected have been hospitalized. The outbreak has occurred in Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The initial investigations performed by the CDC focused on six people in Michigan and one person in Arizona. All of those who reported being sick said they had eaten raw ground beef at a Michigan restaurant before becoming ill. The CDC said it is still continuing investigations to determine whether the other nine people who have fallen ill ate the recalled products.

PulseNet, a national network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories, is helping out with the investigation. The CDC said this pattern currently being observed has never before been seen in PulseNet.

Those who may have gotten ill after January 3, 2012 might not have reported it yet due to the time it takes for a person to become sick, which takes an average of two to three weeks. People who have fallen ill to Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

The illness typically lasts between four to seven days and most people recover without treatment. Some who have fallen ill may have diarrhea that is so severe they need to be hospitalized.

Older adults and infants, as well as those with weak immune systems, are most likely to suffer severe consequences from the Salmonella infection. Every year, 42,000 Americans are infected with Salmonella.

As a precaution, consumers should prepare their raw meat product safely and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

The latest recalls have been given a class I ranking, which means it is "a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."