Forty people in eight states have now been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis from ground beef, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
The number of victims in the outbreak is up from 33 people in 7 states as of July 23. According to CDC, the states with reported illnesses are Maine (1), Massachusetts (3), New Hampshire (2), New York (18), Rhode Island (2), Vermont (11), Virginia (2), and West Virginia (1). Of the known victims, 11 have been hospitalized and none have died.
CDC said that a multi-agency investigation has implicated ground beef produced by Cargill Meat Solutions at a single production facility is the likely source of this outbreak. On July 22, Cargill Meat Solutions recalled 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef.
Though it’s likely most of the recalled meat has been consumed, health officials are urging consumers to check their refrigerators and freezers for any meat that might remain.
Since some of the ground beef was repackaged into consumer-sized packages sold at retail, consumers should visit the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service website to view the list of stores that carried the beef, which may not bear the EST. 9400 mark.
After the company’s recall, Cargill Beef’s president John Keating said he was “sorry or anyone who became sick from eating ground beef we may have produced.”
“Ensuring our beef products are safe is our highest priority and an investigation is underway to determine the source of Salmonella in the animals we purchased for harvest and any actions necessary to prevent this from recurring,” said Keating.
Cargill has said it does not test for Salmonella Enteritidis in beef: “This particular strain of Salmonella Enteritidis in beef has not been linked to a public health problem before, and no validated test for it in fresh beef is commercially available.”
Salmonella is not considered an adulterant in meat or poultry products, and Salmonella-contaminated product is generally not recalled unless products are tied to illnesses.