December 10, 2016

Worthy Burger E. coli Outbreak Sickens 7 in Vermont

HamburgerSeven people who ate at Worthy Burger in South Royalton in Vermont developed food poisoning, according to Valley News. Five of them have confirmed case of E. coli infection. All of them have recovered and health officials say there is ongoing threat of illness.

The restaurant closed from September 17 -September 21, made changed recommended by the health department, changed some of its suppliers and reopened. One of the recommended changes was using 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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