E. Coli contamination prompts beef recall
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) revealed today that more than 15,000 lbs of beef products manufactured by Fort Worth Texas-based PFP Enterprises have been recalled because of possible contamination with E. Coli. The FSIS, which is a division of the USDA, discovered the problem during a Food Safety Assessment when it found some beef trim that tested presumptively positive for several non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains through the company’s testing program. The company apparently failed to follow through with its testing of the beef and allowed beef affected with E. Coli to be shipped to retail stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Puerto Rico.
Those who follow our blogs know that food-born pathogens mutate extremely quickly, which results in distinct genetic markers that can be used to identify the source of an outbreak. Testing the blood or stool of an affected person will identify the precises serotype of E. Coli and provide a solid link to the recalled product. The affected beef may contain E. coli O103, E. coli O111, E. coli O121, E. coli O145, E. coli O26 and E. coli O45. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with E. coli O45, E. coli O103, E. coli O111, E. coli O121, E. coli O145, or E. coli O26, there is a very good chance that the recalled beef is the culprit.
The recall involves products bearing the establishment number “Est. 34715″ inside the USDA mark of inspection. Products that are part of the recall include:
- 10.5-pound boxes of Beef Outside Skirt Steak, with a pack date of “12/13/13″;
- 20-pound boxes of Studio Movie Grill Beef Tenderloin Sliced, with a pack date of “12/05/13″;
- 15-pound boxes of Preseasoned Beef for Fajita, with a use by date of “1/13/14″;
- 40-pound boxes of Southwest Style Beef Skirts, with a pack date of “12/5/13″;
- 20-pound boxes of Patterson Food Processors Beef Skirt Seasoned, with a pack date of “12/9/13″;
- 10-pound boxes of Preseasoned Beef for Fajitas, with a pack date of “12/9/2013″;
- 40-pound boxes of Preseasoned Beef for Fajitas w/Binder, with a pack date of “12/9/2013″;
- 12-pound boxes of Seasoned Beef for Fajitas, containing six 2-pound packs, with a use by date of “1/15/14″; and
- 12-pound boxes of Mexican Style Beef for Fajita, containing six 2-pound packs, with a use by date of “1/11/14″.
E. Coli symptoms and detection
Most infected individuals recover without medical attention, as symptoms can often be successfully treated with increased hydration and rest. Treatment with anti-diarrheal medicines should be avoided, as these medicines hinder the intestinal tract’s ability to eliminate the bacteria. To add, antibiotics should not be taken, as they have been found to be ineffective and could actually have an adverse effect. Most infected persons recover in about one week from E Coli poisoning.
In some cases of E. Coli infection, seeking immediate medical attention may be required. In an estimated 5-10% of cases, individuals infected with E. Coli may develop a very serious, life-threatening condition called “Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome,” or “HUS.” HUS may cause the kidneys to stop working, and other serious problems may arise. Though most individuals who develop HUS recover within weeks, some may suffer lasting damage, and fatality is always a threat. The symptoms of HUS include infrequent urination, fatigue, and a loss of pink coloring in the cheeks and lower eyelids. Symptoms usually develop about seven days after the initial symptoms of E. Coli infection began. The use of anti-diarrheal medicines or antibiotics to treat the initial symptoms of E. coli infection have been associated with an increased risk of developing HUS.
A medical doctor will be able to determine infection by testing a person’s stool sample for Shiga toxins. Outbreaks can be determined by identifying a specific strain of STEC. Thus, though most medical labs can determine the existence of infection, special labs can specifically identify the strain. Specific identification is essential to protecting the public from exposure and outbreaks, and the CDC recommends that physicians report positive tests to the health department. Approximately 20% of infections are recognized as outbreaks each year. Medical doctors may diagnose HUS by low platelet count, anemia, or kidney failure in the patient.
If you contracted E. Coli after eating any of the recalled products listed above, contact the Law Firm immediately. If you have been diagnosed with E. coli O45, E. coli O103, E. coli O111, E. coli O121, E. coli O145, or E. coli O26, there is a very good chance that the recalled beef is the culprit. We will work tirelessly to recover for your pain, suffering, lost wages and medical bills.