Two meat producers in two different states have issued recalls of their raw ground beef product over concerns of E. coli contamination amid an outbreak that's sickened at least 156 people in 10 states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.
K2D Foods, doing business as which operates out of Carrolton, Georgia, recalled 113,424 pounds of ground meat products that include vacuum-sealed packages of products labeled "ground beef puck." The meat was shipped to distributors in Port Orange, Florida, and Norcross, Georgia, to be sent out to restaurants.
The USDA said in a release announcing the recall that a package shipped to a restaurant where people had fallen ill tested positive for the Escherichia coli 0102. Unopened packages of the ground beef also tested positive for E. coli, though it's unknown where that sample was collected.
K2D Foods isn't the only meat producer who's needed to issue a recall for their meat. Grant Park Packing, a Chicago area meat producer, also issued a recall notice for about 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef products shipped with the label "North Star Imports & Sales" and "for institutional use only." Those packages were reportedly shipped to Minnesota for distribution and Kentucky for institutional use.
Ten states have seen people fall ill as a result of the E. coli outbreak. Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia have reported the most cases, with additional reports of illnesses in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Virginia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Of the 156 people who have fallen ill, at least 20 have needed to be hospitalized.
There have been no deaths linked to the E. coli outbreak.
Health officials say the illness typically includes stomach cramps and diarrhea. The bacteria is transmitted through contaminated food or water and occasionally through contact with other people and animals. Most people recover after a few days, but E. coli can cause complications in those who are pregnant, newborns, elderly adults and those with compromised immune systems.
The CDC recommends that people regularly wash their hands to prevent the spread of the disease. They also say people should wash their fruits and vegetables and cook their meat thoroughly.
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