Salmonella Tainted Ground Beef Leads to Recall, 16 Illnesses in Five States

ground-beef-salmonellaAn emerging multi-state Salmonella poisoning outbreak has led to 16 illnesses over five states and appears to be related to contaminated meat.

Jouni Meats Inc. in Sterling Heights, Detroit, and Gab Halal Foods in Troy, Detroit recalled 500 and 550 pounds of the potentially contaminated meat, respectively, by last week, said Science World Report.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that about half of those sickened with salmonellosis—Salmonella poisoning—required hospitalization, according to Science World Report. Illnesses have been reported in Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Arizona; no fatalities have been reported, to date.

Seven of those reporting illnesses appear to have become infected at the Macomb County restaurant, where they ordered the beef dish, kibbeh. Kibbeh, explained Science World Report, is usually made with finely ground meat, minced onions, and bulgar wheat.

We previously wrote that, by late 2012, the United States had seen food borne illness outbreaks linked to the Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria pathogen. About 48 million people—one in six Americans—suffers from food borne illness each year, according to data from the CDC.

About 3,000 deaths are attributed to food borne illnesses annually, 400 of these deaths are attributed to acute salmonellosis. Both drug resistant and nonresistant Salmonella poisoning results in some one million illnesses each year, costing the U.S. $365 million, according to a prior CDC report.

It can take between six and 72 hours from consumption of a contaminated product for the symptoms of salmonellosis to appear. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required.

Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in, and produce more severe or chronic illnesses and can leave sufferers with serious life-long health issues. Salmonellosis can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants; the elderly; and persons with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

The CDC recommends that any beef purchased be thoroughly cooked and that those who purchased products made by Jouni Meats Inc. or Gab Halal Foods, discard the products or return them to the store where purchased, said Science World Report.

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