Salmonella cases trigger USDA alert on ground beef

Jan 30, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – A outbreak of 37 cases of Salmonella infection in the Northeast has prompted the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue an alert urging consumers to take care in handling raw ground beef.

Jennifer Morcone of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the reported illness cases included 12 in Maine, 11 in Massachusetts, 4 in New Hampshire, 4 in New York, 3 in Connecticut, and 3 in Vermont. Some of the patients were hospitalized, but there were no deaths, Morcone told CIDRAP News.

"Many of the people who have become ill have reported eating ground beef," the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a news release. "Some reported eating raw ground beef. FSIS is working with the CDC to determine the source of the contamination."

The agency urged consumers to follow food safety guidelines when handling and preparing raw meat. The guidelines include heating ground beef to 160˚F as measured internally by a meat thermometer, separating raw and cooked or ready-to-eat food to prevent cross-contamination, cleaning thermometers and utensils after use, and putting leftovers in a refrigerator or freezer within 2 hours after cooking.

See also:

Jan 29 FSIS news release
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/news/2004/alert012904.htm

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