The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Public Health Agency of Canada have updated the E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak linked to beef from XL Foods. As of October 19, 2012, sixteen people are now ill with the outbreak strain of the bacteria. That’s an increase of one case since the last update.
The case count is as follows by province/territory: Alberta (7), Newfoundland and Labrador (1), Quebec (5), and British Columbia (3, one a visitor to Canada). You can find a complete list of the products recalled at the CFIA web site. Dozens of recalls have been issued over the past month in response to the original recall.
Look over the list of recalled items carefully. If you have purchased any and have any in your home, discard them immediately. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after handling the items. If you have experienced the symptoms of an E. coli infection, including severe stomach cramps, watery and bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and fever, see your doctor immediately.
About 5 to 10% of those who contract an E. coli 0157:H7 infection develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which can lead to kidney failure and death. The very young, the elderly, pregnant women, those with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop this dangerous complication.