October 27, 2016

Worthy Burger E. coli Outbreak Sickens 11 in 3 States

Undercooked HamburgerEleven people who ate at Worthy Burger in South Royalton in Vermont have E. coli infections. The case patients are from three states, Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, according to Valley News.

Ten of those sickened ate at the restaurant in the weeks before September 17  when the restaurant closed for five days to make changes recommend by the health department. One of the recommended changes was to use a food thermometer to make sure burgers had been cooked to a safe internal temperature. Using a food thermometers is the only way to make sure food is properly cooked. Color is not a reliable indicator.

Health officials are not releasing dates of illness or information about which, if any, suppliers may be involved. E. coli bacteria live in the intestines of cows and other ruminants. They cause infection when food contaminated with microscopic amounts of fecal matter is ingested.

Beef can become contaminated during slaughter. Then, during the grinding process bacteria is mixed through.

Beef is the source of most E. coli outbreaks, according to a federal study by the Food Safety Analytics Collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Symptoms of an E.coli infection which include abdominal cramping and bloody diarrhea, usually set in about three days after exposure, but can take up to a week to develop. Symptoms can last a week or more. Complications include hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which can lead to kidney failure.

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