Published Date: 2007-10-03 17:00:10
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli O157, ground beef - USA (multistate)(03): CDC report
Archive Number: 20071003.3272
E. COLI O157, GROUND BEEF - USA (MULTISTATE) (03): CDC REPORT
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 2 Oct 2007
Source: CDC [edited]
Several state health departments, CDC, and the United States
Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service
(USDA-FSIS) are investigating a multistate outbreak of _Escherichia
coli_ O157:H7 infections. On 29 Sep 2007, USDA issued a notice about
a recall of 21.7 million pounds of frozen ground beef patties.
Health officials in several states who were investigating reports of
_E. coli_ O157 illnesses found that many ill persons had consumed the
same brand of frozen ground beef patties. Ground beef patties
recovered from patients' homes were tested by state public health
department and federal laboratories. Tests conducted by the New York
State Wadsworth Center Laboratory and by a USDA-FSIS laboratory on
opened and unopened packages of Topp's brand frozen ground beef
patties yielded _E. coli_ O157 isolates with several different "DNA
Investigators compared the DNA fingerprint patterns of _E. coli_ O157
strains found in ground beef with DNA fingerprint patterns of _E.
coli_ O157 strains isolated from ill persons. As of 12 PM (ET), 2 Oct
2007, 28 cases of _E. coli_ O157:H7 infection have been identified
with PFGE patterns that match at least one of the patterns of _E.
coli_ strains found in Topp's brand frozen ground beef patties.
Ill persons reside in 8 states [Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Indiana
(1), Maine (1), New Jersey (6), New York (8), Ohio (1), and
Pennsylvania (8)]. 17 (94 percent) of 18 patients with a detailed
food history consumed ground beef. Three illnesses have confirmed
associations with recalled products because the strain isolated from
the person was also isolated from the meat in their home. The 1st
reported illness began on 5 Jul 2007, and the last began on 11 Sep
2007. Among 15 ill persons for whom hospitalization status is known,
10 (67 percent) patients were hospitalized. One patient developed a
type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). No
deaths have been reported. 12 (43 percent) patients are female. The
ages of patients range from 3 to 77 years; 33 percent are between 15
and 24 years old (only 14 percent of the US population is in this age group).
Consumers who have frozen ground beef patties should determine
whether they have the recalled product and discard it or return it to
the place of purchase. Each recalled package bears the establishment
number "Est. 9748" inside the USDA mark of inspection and has a
sell-by date between "SEP 25 07" and "SEP 25 08." More information on
the recalled products can be found at
Consumers who have questions about the recalled products can contact
USDA-FSIS at "Ask Karen" online at <http://www.AskKaren.gov> or call
the Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (674-6854). Because
any raw ground beef can contain disease-causing germs, CDC and
USDA-FSIS encourage consumers to use good food safety practices and
to heed the following advice:
- Using a food thermometer is the only sure way of knowing whether
your food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy bacteria.
- Ground beef products should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 F.
- To keep your food safe, remember to Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
For more food safety information, visit <http://www.BeFoodSafe.gov>
and direct questions to <http://AskKaren.gov> and the Meat and
Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (674-6854).
[DNA fingerprinting technology often utilizes restriction
endonucleases, which are enzymes that lyze (break) DNA at highly
specific and short nucleotide sequences. By breaking a DNA molecule
at specific points and then looking at the sizes of the smaller
segments of DNA produced, science can assess the similarity or even
identity of 2 different DNA molecules. The larger the number of
restriction endonucleases used in the comparison, the more
significant pattern, if identical, produced.
As before, although food technology methodologies, including
irradiation, can reduce the number of pathogens in the food, rational
cooking techniques (getting the ground beef hot enough) and kitchen
hygiene methods (avoiding contamination) are the penultimate weapons
that consumers have at their disposal to prevent a food-borne
infection such as this one. - Mod.LL]