Florida just joined the E. coli outbreak with three cases while Georgia, along with Kentucky and Tennessee, has been battered from the start.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 156 people in 10 states have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. Coli O103. The meat is in 48-pound boxes labeled "ground beef puck" for institutional use.
Unopened intact ground beef collected from a restaurant where numerous people sickened in the outbreak ate tested positive for E coli O103, but so far there is no definitive link between the product that tested positive and the ongoing E coli outbreak.
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The voluntary recall was announced late Tuesday night, suggesting that federal and state officials involved understand the seriousness of the outbreak, says Bill Marler, a Seattle food safety attorney and publisher of Food Safety News. This recall came after the CDC, USDA and Tennessee Department of Health tracked cases to a Tennessee restaurant.
The CDC said 20 of the victims had to be hospitalized, but there have been no deaths reported.
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. The product was shipped to distributors in Ft. Orange, Fla., and Norcross, Ga., which sold it to restaurants.
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The recall notice again states that "At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak".
"FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F", the USDA website reads. Symptoms may include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, usually lasting 5-7 days.
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