Deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to ground beef
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Dublin infections linked to ground beef.
As of November 1, 2019, a total of 10 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin have been reported from 6 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 8, 2019, to September 22, 2019. Ill people range in age from 48 to 74 years, with a median age of 68. Eighty percent of ill people are male. Of nine ill people with information available, eight (89%) were hospitalized, which is much higher than we would expect for Salmonella infections. The hospitalization rate is usually about 20%. One death has been reported in California. In five (50%) ill people, Salmonella was found in samples of blood, which indicates their illnesses may have been more severe. Typically, Salmonella Dublin illnesses are more severe because they can cause bloodstream infections, which are serious and require hospitalization.
Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when someone becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.
Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin in repackaged leftover ground beef collected from an ill person’s home in California. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin has also been identified in six samples of raw beef products from slaughter and processing establishments. Samples from slaughter and processing establishments were collected as part of FSIS’s routine testing under the Salmonella performance standards. WGS showed that the Salmonella strain from these samples was closely related genetically to the Salmonella from ill people. These results provide more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating ground beef. At this time, the investigation has not identified a single, common supplier of ground beef.
This outbreak investigation is ongoing and CDC will update the public if more information becomes available.