Published Date: 2002-07-12 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/EDR> E. coli O157, ground beef - USA (Colorado): recall
Archive Number: 20020712.4733
E. COLI O157, GROUND BEEF USA (COLORADO): RECALL
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 11 Jul 2002
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: Rocky Mountain News [edited]
_E. coli_ sickens a dozen so far; Misleading recalls may not have informed
victims that meat was tainted
An outbreak of _E. coli_ bacteria has made at least a dozen Coloradans
sick, the state health department reported Wed 10 Jul 2002, urging Safeway
shoppers to check their freezers for contaminated meat.
The outbreak of _E. coli_ O157:H7, which has reached 9 counties, may be
linked to ground beef sold in mid-June 2002, the Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment said.
Any ground beef purchased at a Colorado Safeway store with a "Sell By Date"
label of 7-18 Jun 2002 shouldn't be used, said Patti Klocker, associate
director of the department's Consumer Protection Division.
Safeway spokesman Jeff Stroh said that meat can be returned for a refund.
He said Safeway made announcements 1 Jul 2002 alerting customers to the
possible contamination. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
announcement came a day before Safeway's, and many consumers received their
information only from the
earlier release, which didn't mention Safeway.
The best way to guard against _E. coli_ is to make sure the meat is
thoroughly cooked; to 160 degrees, or to the point of no pink showing,
state chief medical officer Ned Calonge said.
Jim Herily, spokesman for ConAgra, said the meatpacking plant is cleaned
every night, but nothing is 100 percent foolproof. He said ConAgra in the
past couple weeks has started feeding its cattle probiotics, which [may]
reduce _E. coli_ in cows by 50 percent.
[Byline: Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News]
[Again, it cannot be overstated that the transmission of this and many
other food-borne pathogens can be greatly minimized by adequate handling
and cooking of the ground beef. Care must be taken to prevent adequately
cooked meat from exposure to preparation surfaces where the uncooked and
potentially infected meat may have been.
Evidence does exist that feeding probiotic bacteria can decrease the level
of carriage of _E. coli_ O157:H7 in animals including cattle, the major
reservoir for this pathogen (1,2). The mechanism may be related to
interference with bacterial adherence or the increased production of lactic
acid by some probiotics (Lactobacillus) reducing local pH.
1. Zhao T, Doyle MP, Harmon BG, et al : Reduction of carriage of
enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 in cattle by inculation with probiotic
bacteria. J Clin Microbiol 36: 641-47, 1998.
2. Shu Q, Gill HS: A dietary probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 reduces
the severity of E. coli O157:H7 infection in mice. Med Microbiol Immunol
189:147-52, 2001 - Mod.LL]