Monday, September 26, 2016

Beef products are probably the cause of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened seven people in four states


UPDATED 4:54 PM EDT Sep 26, 2016 

 (CNN) —Beef products are probably the cause of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened seven people in four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From June 27 to September 4, seven people ages 1 to 74 from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts contracted E. coli O157:H7. No deaths have been reported, but five of the seven have been hospitalized, the CDC reported.

The CDC, the Department of Agriculture and multiple states are investigating the outbreak, which was traced to the Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts.

Two to eight days after consuming contaminated meat, patients with E. coli infections typically have symptoms of dehydration, bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps. Most E. coli victims recover in about a week. In rare cases, the infection can cause kidney failure. This occurs most often in young children and older adults, and is evident by easy bruising, pallor and low urine output. People with these symptoms should seek medical help immediately.

Adams Farm is voluntarily recalling beef, veal and bison products due to the possible E. coli contamination. The products originated from animals slaughtered on July 15, 25 and 27 and August 3, 8, 10, 11, 17, 24 and 26; the meat was processed and packed between the dates of July 21 and September 22.

The items were shipped to farmers' markets, retailers and restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut and eastern New York, and might have been shipped to neighboring states, the CDC said. A full list of recalled products is available at the USDA website.

The USDA urges people to immediately throw out all recalled meat -- both frozen and refrigerated -- or return the products to the store where they were purchased. Restaurants and retailers should also get rid of recalled meat.

In a statement on its website, Adams Farm said the USDA instructed the farm to recall products from animals slaughtered over seven weeks, a period it called "both unjustified and unrealistic."

Adams Farm announced, "We have narrowed down the point of contamination to two days in the middle of August and have been working with our farmer customers to ensure that none of that product is sold and for them to inform their customers.

"While we are very concerned over the USDA's over-reaction and its impact on our customers, we have fully cooperated with their requirements but want our customers to be aware that we stand behind all of our products and will continue to stand behind all of our farmer customers and their consumers."