I'm currently on a high-protein diet, so when I saw a headline pop up about E. Coli illnesses being linked to ground beef, I began to panic a little.

Here is the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about an E. Coli Outbreak that has led to 156 reported illnesses in 10 different states, including Illinois:

CDC, several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O103 infections. Preliminary information suggests that ground beef is the source of this outbreak. This investigation is ongoing.

The CDC says the people who have fallen ill all reported eating ground beef either at home or in restaurants.

Before you panic too, here's a few more things you need to know from the CDC:

  • At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified.
  • CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid eating ground beef at this time. Consumers and restaurants should handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly to avoid foodborne illness.
  • At this time, CDC is not recommending that retailers stop serving or selling ground beef.

So, I think the moral of this story is...don't eat your hamburgers medium rare and if you're not sure your ground beef is cooked all the way through, cook it some more.

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