E. coli prompts ground beef recall
May 23, 2014
Wolverine Packing Company, a Detroit, Mich. establishment, is recalling approximately 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The ground beef products were produced between March 31, 2014 and April 18, 2014.
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number "EST. 2574B" and will have a production date code in the format "Packing Nos: MM DD 14" between "03 31 14" and "04 18 14." These products were shipped to distributors for restaurant and retail use nationwide. There was no distribution of the products to the Department of Defense, the National School Lunch Program or catalog/internet sales.
Factors that can contribute to the size of the recall include potential contamination of additional products due to a lack of microbiological independence between lots in a production day, as well as a deficiency in supportive record-keeping by distributors.
FSIS was notified of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on May 12, 2014. Working in conjunction with public health partners from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FSIS determined through a traceback investigation that there is a link between the ground beef products from Wolverine Packing Company and this illness cluster. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, 11 case-patients have been identified in four states with illness onset dates ranging from April 22, 2014 to May 2, 2014. Additional information may be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2014/O157H7-05-14/index.html. FSIS continues to work with its state and federal public health partners on this investigation and provide updated information as it becomes available.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps two to eight days (three to four day days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
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FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms have notified their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
FSIS advises all 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. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.