Published Date: 2009-07-02 15:00:07
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli O157 - USA (06): beef, recall, RFI
Archive Number: 20090702.2389
E. COLI O157 - USA (06): BEEF, RECALL, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 1 Jul 2009
Source: Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota), Associated Press
(AP) report [edited]
At least 12 people, 2 of them suffering kidney failure, have been
hospitalized in connection with a possible _Escherichia coli_ outbreak in
beef suspected of having sickened people in 9 states, federal health
officials said on Wednesday [1 Jul 2009]. The victims may have become ill
after eating beef produced by JBS Swift Beef Co. of Greeley, Colorado, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The number of people
reported ill so far is 23.
The company recalled about 380 000 pounds [about 172 tonnes] of beef on
Sunday [28 Jun 2009] after some illnesses were reported and a government
investigation showed a possible connection to the company's product. That
recall expanded a [24 Jun 2009] recall of just over 41 000 pounds (about 19
CDC said health officials in several states investigating the strain of _E.
coli_ found that most ill persons had consumed ground beef, and many
reported that it was undercooked. Ground beef with the strain of _E. coli_
was obtained from the home of one person infected. "At least some of the
illnesses appear to be associated with products subject to these recalls,"
CDC stated on its website.
The 1st reported illness began on [2 Apr 2009], according to CDC, and the
last on [13 Jun 2009]. Wisconsin and Michigan appear to be the hardest hit
by the outbreak so far, with 6 ill people in each state identified by CDC.
Other cases were reported in California, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York. CDC did not specify the states in
which people were hospitalized. The agency said that 2 of those who fell
ill suffered from hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
Kidney failure is found in the most severe cases of _E. coli_. In less
serious cases, the potentially deadly bacterium can cause bloody diarrhea
The outbreak comes on the heels of a recall of Toll House refrigerated
cookie dough products and just before the 4th of July holiday, when many
Americans are preparing to grill hamburgers outdoors. Connecticut Rep. Rosa
DeLauro, a longtime critic of the food safety system, said this week she is
concerned it took too long for JBS Swift to recall the meat. The beef was
produced [21 Apr 2009], according to the company and the Agriculture
Department. "It is deeply troubling that it has been over 2 months since
this meat was produced and only now are we learning that thousands of
Americans have potentially been exposed to _E. coli_-tainted beef," said
DeLauro, who heads the House subcommittee in charge of Agriculture
Department spending. "I urge the USDA to aggressively and expeditiously
The department's Food Safety and Inspection Service [FSIS] initially took a
sample of the beef on [21 May 2009] that tested positive for the strain,
according to the agency. Because that beef did not enter the food supply,
officials did not urge a recall. A follow-up investigation, including
information from the illnesses reported, prompted FSIS to go to the company
and request the recall, an agency spokesman said. "Until recently, there
was not adequate evidence suggesting a link between this source material
and illnesses," said FSIS spokesman Brian Mabry.
In a statement, JBS Swift said it sold the meat as whole muscle cuts and
may have been ground by retailers who purchased it. Raw ground beef is
considered the highest risk to consumers.
As part of the recall, The Kroger Co. said earlier this week that it is
recalling packages of meat with "sell by" dates of April 27 to June 1 in
the Cincinnati-Dayton region that includes northern Kentucky and
southeastern Indiana; and in western Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi,
Illinois and eastern Missouri. The company said the suspect beef was sold
under its store brands in more than a dozen states. Kroger-owned Food 4
Less stores in the Chicago area, Fry's stores in Arizona and Smith's stores
in Arizona, Utah, and other western states were also included in the
recall. Other grocery retailers are also affected, such as Scarborough,
Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets, and Quincy, Massachusetts-based Stop &
Shop. Hannaford has urged customers in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
New York, and Vermont to check freezers for the recalled beef.
[byline: Mary Clare Jalonick]
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail
Date: Wed Jul 1 2009
Source: WISN.com [edited]
Six people in Wisconsin are sick from eating tainted meat. CDC's website
reported that Wisconsin and Michigan have been hit the hardest by the
latest _E. coli_ outbreak.
At least 23 people are sick nationwide. 12 people in 9 states have been
hospitalized. Officials said that 2 of them are suffering from kidney
failure. All are said to have eaten _E. coli_-tainted beef produced by the
JBS Swift Company out of Greeley, Colorado. The company recalled about 380
000 pounds of beef on Sunday [28 Jun 2009].
Locally, Roundy's grocery stores recalled all ground beef with a date of
[25 Apr through 30 May 2009]. The store said it does business with Swift
and want to be sure people aren't grilling the beef this weekend [4-5 Jul
Other states reporting illnesses include California, Maine, Minnesota, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York.
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail
[Since the last ProMED-mail post on this outbreak (E. coli O157 - USA (03):
beef, recall 20090629.2354), the total number of patients has increased
from 18 to 23, 12 of whom have been hospitalized and 2 of whom have
developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The 1st news report above says
that illness for the 1st reported case began on 2 Apr 2009 and the last on
13 Jun 2009. However, it also states that the recalled beef incriminated in
the outbreak was produced on 21 Apr 2009, almost 3 weeks after the onset in
the 1st case, which implies, if correct, that other beef is involved in at
least some of the cases. Also information is missing on whether the DNA
fingerprints of the clinical isolates from the 23 cases are all the same
and whether they match the _E. coli_ strain isolated from the recalled beef.
The state of Colorado, where the JBS Swift company, the meat processor is
located, and other states so far involved in the current _E. coli_
beef-related outbreak can be seen on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive
map at <http://healthmap.org/r/00uR>. - Mod.ML]