Ground Beef Apparent Source of E coli Outbreak

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta

Additional cases of E. coli infection were later reported in Florida (3 as of Tuesday), Illinois (1), in (1), Minnesota (1), MS (1), OH (8), Tennessee (41) and Virginia (2).

An E. coli outbreak in the eastern half of the United States has expanded to 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Consumers are urged to prevent the spread of E. coli by washing hands, cooking ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees and keeping uncooked foods away from raw beef to prevent cross-contamination. This recall came after the CDC, USDA and Tennessee Department of Health tracked cases to a Tennessee restaurant.

A recall notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service says K2D Foods is recalling about 56.7 tons of meat.

No deaths have been reported but 20 people have been hospitalized after they were infected with the strain E. coli O103 since March 1, the CDC said on its website.

Unopened, intact ground beef that was collected as part of the investigation from an undisclosed restaurant location, where multiple patients sickened in the outbreak said they ate meals, tested positive for E. coli O103.

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The ground beef was shipped to distributors in Fort Orange, Florida and Norcross, Georgia for further distribution to restaurants.

The recalled products all feature the number EST.

Those sickened in this outbreak have reported eating ground beef at home and in restaurants, the CDC says.

People who ingest the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli usually start feeling sick about three to four days later, and may experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea - often bloody - and vomiting.

People infected with the bacteria get sick two to eight days after swallowing the germ, and may sometimes develop a type of kidney failure.

At this time, the CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid eating ground beef.

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