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More than 132,000 pounds of ground beef are being recalled after one death and at least 17 illnesses

Kate Taylor
  • Meat producer Cargill is recalling roughly 132,606 pounds of ground beef products after an E. coli outbreak.
  • A CDC investigation identified 17 illness and one death related to the outbreak.
  • The US has been hit hard by food-poisoning outbreaks in 2018.

Cargill is recalling thousands of pounds of ground beef products after at least 17 illnesses and one death.

On Wednesday, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that Cargill is recalling approximately 132,606 pounds of ground beef products that had been made with a carcass that may have been contaminated with E. coli. According to the CDC, an investigation identified 17 illnesses and one death related to the outbreak.

The beef products were shipped from Cargill to retail locations across the US, including Publix, which has recalled the products, and can be identified by the establishment number "EST. 86R" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The beef in question appears to have been contaminated with a less common strain of E. coli called E. coli O26.

"Most people infected with STEC O26 develop diarrhoea (often bloody) and vomiting," the USDA said in a statement. "Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe."

While most people infected recover within a week, some develop more severe infections. Children under five, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are at risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure related to the infection.

This year, the US has been hit hard by food-poisoning outbreaks. McDonald's salads were linked to a parasitic-illness outbreak that has sickened more than 160 people, pre-cut melons were linked to a salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 60 people, and romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli was linked to at least 193 illnesses and five deaths.

"This year has been nuts," foodborne-illness attorney Bill Marler told Business Insider, drawing comparison to political news in the Trump era. "There's so much crazy s--- ... all the time."