(WPTA21) — Health investigators are investigating an E. coli outbreak spanning 10 states that may be linked to ground beef.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 156 people have been infected with the outbreak strain. 20 of these people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.
The investigation into the outbreak started on March 28, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified the CDC about the outbreak. Illnesses started from March 1 through April 7. People affected by the outbreak range from less than 1-year-old to 83-years-old.
While no common supplier, distributor or brand has been identified in the outbreak, a preliminary investigation suggests ground beef is the source.
The CDC is not recommending people stop eating ground beef. They are, however, telling consumers and restaurants to handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly to avoid foodborne illness.
The CDC provided the following safety tips for handling and cooking ground beef safely.
Wash hands with soap and water after touching raw ground beef. Use hot, soapy water or a bleach solution to wash kitchen items that touched raw meat.