Investigators are working to identify the source of a Salmonella outbreak linked to ground beef in four states resulting in 16 illnesses, 6 hospitalizations with no deaths. This is an Active Investigation, not a Recall.
Ground beef is a known source of Salmonella illnesses. Salmonella germs live in the intestines of people and animals and can be spread through contaminated food, water, food preparation surfaces, and unwashed hands. Salmonella germs are killed when ground beef is cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Eating raw or undercooked ground beef can make you sick.
Source of the Outbreak
All of the people who remembered the type of ground beef they ate and where they bought it reported eating 80% lean ground beef purchased from ShopRite locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York before they got sick. Ground beef is the only common food people reported eating. Investigators are working to identify the source of the ground beef sick people ate.
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are collecting different types of data to identify the source of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul infections.
As of July 24, 2023, 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported from 4 states (NJ (9), NY (5), CT (1), MA (1). Illnesses started on dates ranging from April 27, 2023, through June 16, 2023.
The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak.
Public health officials collect many different types of information from sick people, including their age, race, ethnicity, other demographics, and the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. This information provides clues to help investigators identify the source of the outbreak.
Symptoms of Salmonella
Most people infected with Salmonella experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
Symptoms usually start 6 hours to 6 days after swallowing the bacteria.
Most people recover without treatment after 4 to 7 days.
Some people—especially children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems—may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization.
Follow these four food safety steps to prevent getting sick from Salmonella.
Wash any bowls, utensils, and surfaces that touch raw ground beef with soap and water before using them to prepare other foods.
Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after preparing raw ground beef and before touching other kitchen items.
When shopping, separate raw ground beef from other foods in your shopping cart and grocery bags. Place packages of raw ground beef into individual plastic bags to avoid cross-contamination.
Keep raw ground beef separate from foods that will not be cooked.
Store raw ground beef in a container or sealed, leakproof bag on the lowest shelf in the fridge or freezer.
Use a food thermometer to make sure you have cooked meat to a temperature high enough to kill germs. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, and leftovers should be heated to an internal temperature of 165°
Do not eat raw or undercooked ground beef.
Raw ground beef that has been refrigerated should be used or frozen within 1 or 2 days.
Refrigerate or freeze ground beef within 2 hours of cooking. If the food is exposed to temperatures hotter than 90°F, like a hot car or picnic, refrigerate or freeze within 1 hour.
Freeze any meat that will not be used within a few days. Although freezing can help keep ground beef safe until you can cook it, it does not kill existing harmful germs.
Thaw frozen ground beef in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe Salmonella symptoms:
Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
Signs of dehydration, such as:
Not peeing much
Dry mouth and throat
Feeling dizzy when standing up