The seventh largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2016 was the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to beef products made by Adams Farm. Eleven people in five states were sickened in this outbreak.
The case count by state is: Connecticut (2), Massachusetts (5), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (1), and West Virginia (1). Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 27, 2016 to September 10, 2016. Patients ranged in age from 1 year to 74. Seven of those sickened in this outbreak were hospitalized, and one person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious condition that can cause kidney failure. No deaths were reported.
Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence indicated that beef products produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts were the likely source of the outbreak. Seven of the seven people who were interviewed by public health officials said they ate ground beef the week before they got sick.
Six, or 87%, of those interviewed ate ground beef produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse. The Connecticut Department of Public Health collected leftover Adams Farm Slaughterhouse ground beef from an ill person’s home and from a restaurant. Results showed that the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 was in both samples.
Adams Farm Slaughterhouse recalled various cuts of beef, veal, and bison products on September 24, 2016. They were shipped to farmers’ markets, retail stores, and restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York. The products had the establishment number EST. 5497 inside the USDA mark of inspection. You can see the full list of recalled products at the USDA web site.
As always, officials are concerned that some people may have these recalled products in their home freezers. If you do, throw them away in a sealed or double bagged package or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, a mild fever, nausea, and diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery. Symptoms usually appear a few days after exposure.
This illness can become a serious complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), especially in the very young. The symptoms of HUS include little or no urine output, pale skin, easy bruising, skin rash, jaundice, and lethargy. If anyone is experiencing these symptoms they must be taken to a doctor immediately.