Investigators believe that beef can be blamed after 156 people in 10 countries have infected with E. coli since March 1, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
CDC is trying to trace cases involving people who eat beef at home and in restaurants to their source. No supplier, distributor or beef brand has been identified.
No deaths were reported, but 20 people were hospitalized for treatment.
The majority of cases occur in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia, but consumers also get ill in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Virginia.
People who swallow E. coli producing Shiga toxin usually begin to feel ill for about three to four days later and may experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea – often bloody – and vomiting. It usually passes after five to seven days, but in some cases it can be life-threatening.
The CDC said on Tuesday that they do not recommend people stop eating or buying beef, but urge consumers to make sure the meat is safe and completely prepared.
CDC continues to investigate and provide updates when they become available.
Check out the CDC website for more information on E. coli, how to safely prepare meat and update the investigation.