(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Authorities believe ground beef may be to blame after 156 people in 10 states contracted E. Coli since March 1, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.
The CDC is trying to trace the cases, which include people eating beef in restaurants and homes, to their source. So far, no supplier, distributor or brand of beef has been identified.
No deaths have been reported, but 20 people have been hospitalized.
The majority of the cases have been confirmed in Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, but consumers also became sick in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Virginia.
Those who ingest the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli usually start feeling ill about three to four days later, and may experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Authorities said it usually goes away in five to seven days, but could be life-threatening in some cases.
The CDC is urging people to make sure their meat is safely handled and fully cooked before eating. So far, no recommendations have been made to stop eating or buying ground beef.
For more information on this E. Coli outbreak and how you can safely prepare meat, please click here.