May 11, 2007
State Public Health Director issues warning about food borne illness linked to ground beef consumption
No reported cases of E. coli from consumption of ground beef in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today issued a warning about E. coli O157:H7, a specific strain of E. coli, associated with the consumption of some beef trim meat used to make ground beef. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that a Minnesota company has recalled 117,500 pounds of beef trim products due to possible contamination. The beef trim products were used to make ground beef including fresh beef patties, fresh or frozen meatloaf and ground chili meat.
The trim was produced on March 27, 2007 and was shipped to distributors and retail outlets in Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and Illinois. Because these products later became ground beef sold under many different retail brand names, consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall. The possible contamination was discovered by the Minnesota Department of Health as part of an illness investigation.
“To date there are no cases in Illinois of anyone becoming sick with E. coli after eating these recalled ground beef products,” said Dr. Whitaker. “We advise consumers should only eat ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe temperature of 160 ºF. Anyone who thinks they may have experienced symptoms of illness after eating ground beef are urged to contact their health care provider.”
E. coli O157:H7 is a virulent strain compared to other strains of E. coli. It causes diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has sent a health advisory to local health departments alerting staff of the severity of this illness.
The products subject to recall include:
Each box bears the establishment number “Est. 683”, as well as a net weight declaration.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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