Snap’s Ferry Packing Company of Tennessee is recalling 410 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The product was distributed to restaurants in Knoxville, Tennessee and was not sold at retail. There is an outbreak that may be linked to this recall.
The recalled product is 5 pound packages of Ground Beef with a packaging date of November 20, 2015. The product has the establishment number “Est. 9085” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The problem was discovered on January 19, 2016, when a positive test for E. coli O157:H7 was traced back to the establishment as a result of an illness investigation in Tennessee.
FSIS is working with the Tennessee Department of Health and Knox County Health Department on the investigation. E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that causes an illness with symptoms of bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, a mild fever, nausea, weakness, and vomiting. Symptoms usually begin within three to four days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria, but some people don’t get sick until ten days later.
This condition can cause serious illness, especially in children under the age of five, who can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include easy bruising, pale color, a skin rash, little or no urine output, and lethargy. If anyone is suffering these symptoms they should be seen by a doctor immediately.
If you have eaten at a restaurant in the Knoxville, Tennessee area, and ordered a burger that was not cooked well-done, monitor yourself for these symptoms. If the symptoms do appear, see your doctor as soon as possible. If an E. coli O157:H7 infection is treated with antibiotics, the chances of developing HUS increase.
All ground meat products must be cooked to well done, or 160°F as checked by a reliable meat thermometer. E. coli and other pathogenic bacteria are usually found on meat cuts. When that meat is ground into hamburger, the bacteria is spread throughout the product. Then, if the ground beef is made into burgers and not fully cooked, bacteria will still be alive in the hamburger.
E. coli O157:H7 is a reportable illness. Your doctor will test you for the bacteria if you develop symptoms, and then report to local and state health departments. It only takes 10 E. coli bacteria to make someone seriously ill.