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CDC Food Safety Alert: Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O26 Infections Linked to Ground Beef

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CDC advises retailers not to serve or sell recalled ground beef from Cargill Meat Solutions because it may be contaminated with E. coli O26. A food safety alert has been posted at
Key Points:

  • CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) investigated a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O26 infections linked to ground beef from Cargill Meat Solutions.
  • A total of 18 people were reported from four states: Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, and Tennessee.
  • Six people were hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. One person from Florida died.
  • Illnesses in this outbreak started on dates ranging from July 5, 2018, to July 25, 2018. This outbreak appears to be over.
  • People with E. coli infections usually get sick with bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps 3-4 days after eating food contaminated with the germ. Most people recover within a week.
  • Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

Advice to retailers and consumers:

  • On September 19, 2018, Cargill Meat Solutions recalled ground beef products.
    • Recalled ground beef products were produced and packaged on June 21, 2018, and were shipped to retailers nationwide.
    • Products are labeled with the establishment number “EST. 86R” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
    • Visit the USDA-FSIS website for a full list of recalled products.
  • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell recalled ground beef and should check freezers and storage for recalled products.
  • If possible, retailers who received recalled ground beef should contact their customers to alert them of the recall.
  • When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the USDA-FSIS website.
  • Consumers with questions regarding the recall can call 1-844-419-1574. Consumers with ground beef in their freezers can contact the store where it was purchased to determine if it is recalled ground beef.

If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.

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