Federal officials say an outbreak of E. Coli O157:H7 infections traced to ground beef in HelloFresh meal kits is over, but consumers may still have the product in their freezers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the outbreak investigation is closed with seven patients having been confirmed across six states. Six of the patients were so sick they required hospitalization. No deaths were reported.

State and local public health officials interviewed the patients about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Of the six people interviewed, all six reported eating ground beef from HelloFresh meal kits. Sick people ranged in age from 17 to 69 years old.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and this outbreak may not have been limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli,” according to the CDC outbreak update.

There is concern that some consumers may have frozen the ground beef and still have it in their homes. Consumers can determine whether they have the implicated beef by looking for the following information:

10-oz. plastic vacuum-packed packages containing “GROUND BEEF 85% LEAN/15% FAT” with codes “EST#46841 L1 22 155” or “EST#46841 L5 22 155” on the side of the packaging. 

Ground beef was sold online throughout the United States.

“The meal kits containing ground beef for this public health alert were shipped to consumers from July 2-21, 2022,” according to a public health alert posted on Sept. 10 by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. 

The FSIS did not enact a recall because it was believed the implicated ground beef was no longer in the stream of commerce.

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