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About 156 people in 10 states infected with E. coli from ground beef: CDC

(Reuters) – A total of 156 people in 10 states were infected with E. coli after eating contaminated ground beef at home and in restaurants from the beginning of March.

PHOTO OF THE FILE: A general view of the Centers for the Control and Prevention of Diseases Center (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia September 30, 2014. REUTERS / Tami Chappell / Photo file

No deaths were reported, but 20 people were hospitalized after being infected with the E. coli O103 strain from March 1, the CDC reported on their website.

The agency concluded that an investigation is under way to determine the source of contaminated beef delivered to grocery stores and restaurants.

"At that time, no common supplier, distributor or brand of ground beef was identified," said the CDC.

The investigation began on March 28, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified the CDC about the outbreak of the disease. Since then, there have been around 65 cases in Kentucky, 41 in Tennessee and another 33 in Georgia.

E. coli cases were also reported in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Virginia.

The CDC said that the disease after March 26 has not yet been reported, because the delivery time is two to three weeks.

People infected with bacteria get sick after two to eight days after ingesting the organism and can sometimes develop renal failure.

Many infected people bought large trays or chops of ground beef from grocery stores and used meat to make dishes such as spaghetti sauce and messy Joes, the agency said.

The regulator said he did not recommend that consumers avoid eating ground beef at the time, but said that consumers and restaurants should handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly to avoid food-borne diseases.

Reporting of Brendan O & # 39; Briena in Milwaukee, Wis.; Editorial staff: Bill Tarrant and Matthew Lewis

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