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Fourteen people in the US northeast have been infected with a strain of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium. Eleven of the 14 victims reported having eaten ground beef; in ten cases, the beef was purchased at a Hannaford store. Seven of the 14 victims (50%) were hospitalized.

Three illnesses were reported in New Hampshire. Other outbreak victims are from Maine (4), New York State (4) and Vermont (1). Three of the four New York State victims were among the seven who were hospitalized.

The outbreak has been traced epidemiologically to fresh in-store ground beef prepared in and purchased at Hannaford stores in Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont between October 12 and November 20, 2011. The 85% ground beef was the most common variety associated with the outbreak.

Hannaford has recalled the following ground beef products (all package sizes) bearing Sell-by dates of Dec. 17, 2011 or earlier that were sold at the supermarket’s stores throughout Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont:

  • 73% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
  • 75% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
  • 80% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
  • 85% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
  • 90% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
  • 80% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef
  • 85% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef
  • 90% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef
  • 85% Nature’s Place Ground Beef
  • 90% Nature’s Place Ground Beef

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has not been able to identify the suppliers who furnished Hannaford with the raw meat that was used to prepare the recalled ground beef, due to what the agency described as the retailer’s “limited records.” The possibility exists that raw beef contaminated with the Salmonella outbreak strain may also have been supplied to other retailers in the region.

Consumers who purchased ground beef from a Hannaford Supermarket should check their refrigerators and freezers for the recalled product. Hannaford is urging its customers to discard or return any packages of ground beef bearing a sell-by date of Dec. 17, 2011 or earlier. Anyone experiencing symptoms of salmonellosis should seek medical attention.

FSIS reminds consumers to “safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F.”