The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is investigating an E. Coli outbreak involving ground beef. The investigation has triggered the recall of over 22 tons of ground beef, so consumers should be aware of the details of the recalled product.
E. coli can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), fever over 100 F, malaise, loss of appetite, and mild dehydration. In extreme cases, an infection can be fatal.
K2D Foods, doing business as (DBA) Colorado Premium Foods, a Carrolton, Ga. establishment, is recalling approximately 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The raw ground beef items were produced on March 26, March 29, April 2, April 5, April 10, and April 12, 2019. The following products are subject to recall:
*Two 24-lb. vacuum-packed packages in cardboard boxes containing raw “GROUND BEEF PUCK” with “Use Thru” dates of 4/14/19, 4/17/19, 4/20/19, 4/23/19, 4/28/19, and 4/30/19.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 51308” inside the USDA mark of inspection on the boxes. These items were shipped to distributors in Ft. Orange, Fla. and Norcross, Ga. for further distribution to restaurants.
FSIS and its public health partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health, have been investigating an outbreak of E. coli O103. Unopened, intact ground beef collected as part of the ongoing investigation from a restaurant location, where multiple case-patients reported dining, tested positive for E. coli O103. At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak. Further traceback and product analysis continues to determine if the recalled products are related to the E. coli O103 outbreak.
Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 STEC, such as O103 because it is harder to identify than STEC O157:H7. People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after exposure to the organism.
Most people infected with STEC O103 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended. Most people recover within a week, but, rarely, some develop a more severe infection.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, is uncommon with STEC O103 infection. HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in refrigerators or freezers of restaurants. Restaurants that have purchased these products are urged not to serve them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.
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 raw ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.
Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Ashley Barnes, Customer Service Director, Colorado Premium Foods, at (970) 313-4400. Media with questions can contact Bernie Ruesgen, Vice President, Colorado Premium Foods, at (970) 313-4400.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.