ShopRite Ground Beef May Be The Cause Of A Salmonella Outbreak

The investigation into the exact source of a recent salmonella outbreak is still underway, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "All of the people who remembered the type of ground beef they ate and where they bought it reported eating 80% lean ground beef purchased from ShopRite locations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York."

At the time of writing, a total of 16 people have fallen ill from salmonella. New Jersey has the largest number of affected people with nine reports of sickness. Five people in New York state have reported sickness, as well as one person in both Massachusetts and Connecticut respectively. Keep in mind, this is only what has been reported, and the actual case count is probably higher. So far, there have been six hospitalizations, but no deaths associated with the outbreak. If you think you may be sick with a foodborne illness, it is important to contact your local health department.

How do you know if you have contracted salmonella?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that "salmonella germs live in the intestines of people and animals and can be spread through contaminated food, water, food preparation surfaces, and unwashed hands." Eggs, proteins, vegetables, and even pre-cut produce hold a quiet contamination risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is typical to experience common symptoms of "diarrhea, fever and stomach (abdominal) cramps within 8 to 72 hours after exposure," but it is also possible to experience no symptoms at all. The good news is that for most healthy adults, symptoms usually resolve without additional treatment in about a week.

There are ways to avoid food poisoning in the first place. Take care when cooking ground beef, and make sure the internal temperature hits 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep both raw and cooked ground beef properly refrigerated or frozen, and thoroughly clean hands and any surfaces that come in contact with ground beef.