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Massive Ground Beef Recall After Person Dies from E. Coli Contamination

More than 132,000 pounds of ground beef are being recalled after an E. coli outbreak made 17 people sick, and killed at least one person. A consumer alert has been issued in hopes that anyone who might still have tainted meat in the freezer will dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase.

The contaminated meat was packaged by Cargill Meat Solutions from Colorado on June 21, 2018. The raw ground beef products were distributed nation-wide to stores such as Sam's Club, Safeway and Meijer. Target also received the meat and distributed it in stores in California, Florida and Iowa.

The products include 3-lb., 10-lb. and 20-lb. packages of fine ground beef, fine grind chuck beef and angus beef chuck fine grind.

Customers who purchased and consumed the beef products between July 5 and July 25 became ill. At least 17 people got food poisoning, and one death was reported during that time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Safety Inspection Service is concerned that some people who purchased the beef earlier this summer might still be storing the contaminated meat in the freezer.

The USDA is also concerned that some of the meat may have been distributed to stores not named on the list, so everyone should check their freezer. "This list may not include all retail locations that have received the recalled product or may include retail locations that did not actually receive the recalled product," the USDA also warned.

If you purchased ground beef products earlier this summer, check the USDA inspection label. The contaminated meat products were produced and packaged on June 21, and the inspection label should have the establishment number 'EST. 86R'.

"Most people infected with STEC O26 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting,” reports the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA. “

"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 common with STEC O26 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.”

Escherichia coli is a gut bacteria found in healthy people and animals, and in most cases the bacteria is harmless. Some forms can cause diarrhea, but certain strains can be more severe and may cause life-threatening symptoms. The bacteria can be found in meat (especially if undercooked), raw vegetables or even in contaminated water. Young children and the elderly are most at risk if exposed.

The strain suspected of contaminating the recalled meat, STEC O26, is a toxin-producing form of E. coli, the FSIS report explains, and one of the more threatening ones.

Cargill Meat Solutions had another suspected E. coli outbreak in August, and at that time recalled 25,000 pounds of beef.

Source: AOL
Photos: KSLA, WTHR,Keith Weller/USDA

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