CDC blames ground beef for E.coli outbreak

A new outbreak of E. coli traceable to ground beef has sickened more than 100 people in six states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday.

However, the agency said no common supplier, distributor or brand of ground beef has been identified. Ill people in this outbreak have reported eating ground beef both at home and in restaurants.

At least 109 people have gotten sick, making it the third largest multi-state E. coli outbreak in 20 years, CDC said. Seventeen people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

CDC said it began the investigation on March 28, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified the agency.

Reported illnesses have also come from Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee.

The CDC said the investigation is working to find the source of the ground beef, but it is not recommending that consumers avoid eating ground beef or retailers stop serving or selling it.

However, the agency reminded people to cook ground beef thoroughly and to handle it safely.

Symptoms of E. coli infection often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, typically occurring three days after consuming the bacteria.