The Canadian outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 linked to XL Foods beef has grown. Now, there are 15 confirmed cases: Alberta (7), Newfoundland and Labrador (1), Quebec (4), British Columbia (2). One case is a visitor to Canada. The two additional cases in British Columbia became ill in September.
The massive recall of XL Foods beef, which started as a ground beef recall, has spread to the United States and has grown to include millions of pounds of intact cuts of beef such as roasts and steaks and beef products such as sausage. You can see the huge list of recalled products at the CFIA web site, and see the USDA’s public health warning at their site.
If you have suffered the symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7 food poisoning, including diarrhea which may be bloody, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting, see your doctor immediately. Those who are most at risk for serious complications from this illness include the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, those with chronic illnesses, and those with weakened immune systems.
It’s important to handle raw beef and other raw meats carefully. Never serve ground beef unless it is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. That means no rare or medium hamburgers. Avoid cross-contamination between raw meat and other food and thoroughly wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces after contact with raw meat. Contaminated food will not look, smell, taste, or feel spoiled. The CFIA has a list of general food safety tips everyone should follow.