ATLANTA – Investigators believe beef may be responsible for 156 people in 10 states that have signed up with E. coli since March 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The CDC seeks to track down the cases involving humans who eat beef at home and in restaurants to their source. No supplier, distributor or brand of beef has been identified.
No deaths were reported, but 20 people were hospitalized for treatment.
The majority of cases occurred in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia, but also in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Virginia fell consumers.
People who ingest the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli usually become ill three to four days later and experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea – often bloody – and vomiting. It usually takes five to seven days, but in some cases it can be life-threatening.
The CDC said on Tuesday that they do not recommend that people stop eating or buy ground beef, but urge consumers to make sure the meat is handled safely and cooked completely.
The CDC will continue to investigate and provide updates as they become available.
Visit the CDC website for more information on E. coli, information on the safe preparation of meat and updates to the study.