As Memorial Day approaches and families are looking forward to the first official barbecue of the season, there is some bad news for your tummy! You may not get that hamburger on Memorial Day this year, at least not the ground beef version.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are nearly 200 cases of E.coli bacteria that have been reported across 10 states. This is up from about 170 cases two weeks ago. Here are some quick facts about the outbreak and recall the CDC wants you to know before you stock up for the coming holiday:
- The majority of cases were found in three states: Georgia (49), Kentucky (69) and Tennessee (55).
- Those affected began showing symptoms March 1, 2019, to April 14, 2019.
- Ages: 1 – 84 years, with a reported median age of 18.
- Gender: 50% are female, the rest are either male or unidentified
- Only 21 of the ill have been hospitalized (15%).
- No deaths are attributed to this outbreak.
- Information on outbreaks that occurred after March 29, 2019 may not be available yet due to the time it takes between E. coli illness and when it is reported. The CDC says this takes an average of two to three weeks.
- Of the ill, a sample of 125 were interviewed about what they ate in the days before they became sick. Of those, 80% reported eating ground beef.
- The sick ate ground beef from different grocery stores and restaurants. Most bought or ate from large trays or chubs of ground beef from grocery stores and it to make spaghetti sauce and sloppy joes.
- Two companies recalled thousands of pounds of raw ground beef products that could be contaminated with E. coli.: Grant Park Packing in Franklin Park, IL, and K2D Foods, doing business as Colorado Premium Foods, in Carrollton, GA.
While it may not be the same, perhaps now is a good time to try the wildly popular Beyond Meat Burger by Impossible Foods. Some hardcore meat lovers swear by it.
The CDC will provide more information and updates as they become available. In the meantime, you can check their website for additional info not included in this article here.
Map of E. Coli Outbreak March – May 2019
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears almost weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!