Published Date: 2012-06-16 13:41:44
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli EHEC - Belgium: (LI), O157, beef steak
Archive Number: 20120616.1169222
E. COLI EHEC - BELGIUM: (LIMBURG), O157, BEEF STEAK
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 14 Jun 2012
Source: La Derniere Heure (The Last Hour) [in French, machine trans., edited]
The fact that 19 cases of infection with the bacterium _E. coli_ [O157] have been detected in Limburg was reported Thu 14 Jun 2012, by the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA) after being alerted by the Department of the Public Health Monitoring in Hasselt. All cases would be related to the ingestion of raw meat, American style fillet.
Of these 19 cases, 3 show the symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), an infection that causes renal failure and sometimes neurological symptoms. As a result of this discovery, the AFSCA has launched an investigation in order to detect the cause of this contamination. "On the basis of the presumed date of the purchase, consumption and the emergence of the disease, the beef thought to be involved has been recalled," explains the AFSCA in a press release.
The initial results of sampling of the meat have revealed the presence of _E. coli_ O157. The meat in question has therefore been seized and destroyed but the investigation is continuing, said the FASFC. "The contamination demonstrated once again the importance of good hygiene practices in a slaughterhouse, in the workshops of cutting of meat," still thinks the agency.
The EHEC bacteria is commonly found in the intestines of cattle. The human contamination has held the most often as a result of the ingestion of raw meat or undercooked meat, to the consumption of raw milk or raw contaminated vegetables.
[Non-ground beef items themselves, in the form of steaks or roasts, are uncommon reservoirs for EHEC because the contamination is on the surface cut, not internal. Even if the meat is prepared rare, the bacteria on the surface should be killed by the heat. It is not clearly stated how the meat was prepared. Beef tartare, chopped seasoned raw beef, could be contaminated from the surface. Several ProMED postings, however, have reported transmission of EHEC from rare steaks, almost all clearly were related to injection of the meat with tenderizer or seasonings meant to heighten the culinary experience. The injection can physically carry surface bacteria into the meat where the bacteria may not be killed as easily.
Limburg is the easternmost of the 5 provinces of modern Flanders, which is one of the 3 main political and cultural sub-divisions of modern Belgium. - Mod.LL
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/1zJs.]