May 24, 2024

What is the History of Ground Beef E. coli Outbreaks?

With the HelloFresh ground beef E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the news, what is the history of ground beef E. coli outbreaks? There have been many in the past, including O157 and non-O157 strains. While E. coli O157:H7 is the most well known strain of this pathogen, the "Big Six" non-O157 strains are also a common cause of human illness. They include O103, O26, O45, O111, O121, and O145. All of these strains produce Shiga toxins, which cause serious illness, so they are called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). In 2012 the USDA began classifying these serotypes as adulterants. Shiga toxins cause ulcers in the colon, which causes the characteristic bloody diarrhea that happens with this infection. If Shiga toxins get into the bloodstream, they destroy red blood cells, which move … [Read more...]

HelloFresh Ground Beef E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Sickens 7

The HelloFresh ground beef E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened at least seven people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This outbreak was originally announced in a USDA public health warning that was issued four days ago on September 10, 2022. The case count by state as of September 12, 2022 is: Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (1), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), and Washington state (1). Illness onset dates range from June 8, 2022 to August 17, 2022. This is unusual because the product was shipped in July, but the illness onset dates are far outside that range. However, you can freeze HelloFresh meals for one to two months. The patient age range is from 17 to 69 years. Of seven people who gave information to public health officials, six … [Read more...]

Possible HelloFresh Ground Beef E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Announced by USDA

A possible HelloFresh ground beef E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has been announced by the USDA in a public health alert for that product. The ground beef was packaged in some HelloFresh meal kits. The CDC has yet to release an investigation notice, so we don't know how many people are sick, the states where they live, if anyone has developed HUS, if the ground beef is actually the cause of illnesses, the illness onset dates, or if anyone has been hospitalized. A recall was not requested because the products are no longer available for consumers to purchase. The meal kits were shipped to consumers from July 2 to July 21, 2022. The recalled product is 10 ounce plastic vacuum-packed packages containing Ground beef 85% lean/15% fat with the codes "EST#46481 L1 22 155” or “EST#46481 L5 … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in King County, Washington Sickens 7

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in King County, Washington state has sickened at least seven people, according to the King County Department of Public Health. The notice stated that "at this time, this outbreak does not appear to be related to a multistate outbreak initially found in at least four different states." Four people have been hospitalized, and three children have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Six of the patients have recovered, and one is currently recovering. The patient age range is from 11 months to 35 years. Five cases are among children under the age of 15. The illness onset date is from December 31, 2021 to August 18 2022, with six of the cases reported since June 26, 2022. Six of the seven patients had illness onset … [Read more...]

History of Fast Food E. coli Outbreaks is Long and Complicated

There is a mystery E. coli outbreak that has sickened dozens of people in Michigan and Ohio. After days of counties reporting the illnesses, the CDC got involved in the investigation yesterday. At least 29 people in those states are sick, and nine patients have been hospitalized. What could be causing this outbreak? We started thinking about the history of fast food E. coli outbreaks over the years. Unfortunately, outbreaks and fast food restaurants are a fairly common combination. There have been many Salmonella, E. coli, and cyclospora outbreaks associated with those restaurants. The main fast food restaurant chains in this country include Wendy's, McDonald's, Jimmy John's, Jack in the Box, Burger King, and Hardees, among others. These are the E. coli outbreaks linked to fast food … [Read more...]

Health Alert For Hawaii Big Island Ground Beef For E. coli O157:H7

A health alert for Hawaii Big Island Beef Ground Beef for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination has been issued by the USDA. A recall has not been requested because the items are no longer available for purchase. There are no confirmed reports of illness associated with this issue. The recalling firm is Hawaiian Beef Producers LLC. The recalled products are all Hawaii Big Island Beef brand ground beef products that were produced on August 8, 2022. They include: 1 pound vacuum sealed packages containing "Ground Beef (80) Fine 1#/pkg" with "Packed 08/08/22" and "Lot 220808" on the label and case code "134R1." 1 pound vacuum sealed packages containing "Ground Beef (Ln) Fine 1#/pkg" with "Packed 08/08/22" and "Lot 220808" on the label and case code "135R1." 2 pound vacuum … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports Finds Salmonella and E. coli in Ground Meats

Is ground meat safe to eat? With all of the recalls and outbreaks linked to those products, many consumers are asking that question. Consumer Reports conducted a study and found that, in many cases, those products are contaminated with dangerous pathogens including Salmonella and E. coli. The numbers are alarming. Almost a third of the ground chicken packages they tested were contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. And every single strain was resistant to at least one antibiotic, adding to the fear of the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Consumer Reports also found a strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in a sample of ground beef that was so dangerous they alerted the Department of Agriculture, triggering a recall of more than 28,000 pounds of ground beef. Ground … [Read more...]

A Recurring Salmonella Strain and a Secret, Deadly Ground Beef Outbreak

Two years before a 2018 Salmonella outbreak linked to ground beef produced by JBS Tolleson triggered one of the largest beef recalls in modern history, another outbreak, a secret and deadly one was linked to the same strain. The deadly 2016 outbreak was never announced and no recall was ever issued because the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) said traceback records didn't conclusively point to a single establishment. So, contaminated ground beef was sold to consumers and 106 people in 21 states got Salmonella infections. Forty-eight percent of the patients were hospitalized, and one person died. One year after that outbreak ended, the first illness in the 2018 outbreak was reported. That outbreak, which was publicly announced, eventually … [Read more...]

Public Alert For Organic Rancher Ground Beef For Plastic Contamination

A public health alert is being issued for Organic Rancher Ground Beef that was sold at Whole Foods stores because it may be contaminated with foreign material in the form of hard plastic pieces. This poses a choking and mouth injury hazard. A recall was not requested because these products are no longer available for purchase. No reports of adverse reactions have been reported to the company to date in connection with this issue. The Organic Rancher ground beef was produced on April 20, 2022. The recalled items include 16-ounce vacuum-sealed packages that contain Organic Rancher Organic Ground Beef 93% Lean 7% Fat. The use by date for this product is 5-18-2022. Also recalled is 16-ounce vacuum-sealed packages that contain Organic Rancher Organic Ground Beef 85% Lean 15% Fat. The use … [Read more...]

Public Health Alert For Kroger Ground Beef For E. coli O26

A public health alert for Kroger ground beef and other brands of ground beef has been issued by the USDA because the product may be contaminated with E. coli O26. A recall was not requested beaus the government thinks that these products are no longer available for consumers to purchase. The problem was discovered when a consumer submitted a retail package of ground beef that was produced by Empire Packing to a third-party lab for analysis. The consumer allegedly got sick but did not get tested for E. coli. The laboratory confirmed that the ground beef sample was positive for E. coli O26. These ground beef items were produced on December 16 and 17, 2021. You can see pictures of product labels at the USDA web site. They include: 1 pound foam trays containing “ALL NATURAL … [Read more...]

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