The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said ground beef possibly contaminated with salmonella has been linked to 16 illnesses, resulting in six hospitalizations.
The illnesses were all reported in the Northeastern United States, with nine coming from New Jersey. Illnesses were also reported in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, the CDC said.
The CDC said some of those who reported becoming ill said they purchased 80% lean ground beef from ShopRite locations in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. Investigators said earlier this week they're still trying to find the source of the ground beef.
The CDC said it is likely additional people became sick as many recover without medical care.
One of the reported illnesses occurred in late April, while the others happened in late May and early June.
The CDC said cooking beef to a temperature of 160 degrees kills off salmonella. In order to get meat to that temperature, beef would need to be considered "well done."
The Food and Drug Administration says salmonella causes diarrhea, fever and cramps. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and typically those who are infected do not require any treatment.
In addition to cooking meat to 160 degrees, the CDC recommends properly storing meat and cleaning utensils, bowls and other items used in preparing beef.
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