Federal agents say at least 156 people have been infected with E. coli since the beginning of March, after consuming tainted ground beef.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the outbreak Tuesday, nearly one month after the investigation began. USA Today reports meat producer K2D Foods, also known as Colorado Premium foods, has recalled more than 113,000 pounds or 56 tons of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with the same E. coli strain that affected people across 10 states: Tennessee, Kentucky Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, and Virginia.
The recalled products, which were intended for restaurants, include 24-pound packages of raw "ground beef puck" in cardboard packages. The packages were marked with "use-thru" dates of April 14, April 17, April 20, April 23, April 28, and April 30. The affected packages also bear the establishment number "EST. 51308" inside.
No deaths have been linked to the outbreak, and of the 156 infected people, only 20 have been hospitalized. The ages of those who were affected ranged from infants to 83 years old.
"Illnesses that occurred after March 26, 2019, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks," the CDC wrote in a statement. "[...] Ill people bought or ate ground beef from several different grocery stores and restaurants. Many ill people bought large trays or chubs of ground beef from grocery stores and used the meat to make dishes like spaghetti sauce and sloppy joe."
According to United States Department of Agriculture, those infected with E. coli typically recover in between five and seven days. Symptoms include diarrhea and severe stomach pain.