Beef Recall

By: 23 Weekend News
By: 23 Weekend News

Packerland Packing Company has recalled 59,000 pounds of ground beef that was sent to seven states. The company says the beef may be contaminated with E-Coli bacteria.

The beef was produced at Packerland Packing's facility in Green Bay on September 2. It was distributed to stores in Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Packerland issued the recall after its internal testing showed the beef was possibly contaminated and mistakenly shipped.

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About E-coli Pollution

Symptoms

The most frequent clinical syndrome of infection includes watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, low-grade fever, nausea and malaise.

Volunteer feeding studies indicate that a relatively large dose (100 million to 10 billion bacteria) of E. coli is probably necessary to establish colonization of the small intestine, where these organisms proliferate and produce toxins which induce fluid secretion.

With high infective dose, diarrhea can be induced within 24 hours. Infants may require fewer organisms for infection to be established.

Diagnosis

During the acute phase of infection, large numbers of enterotoxigenic cells are excreted in feces.

These strains are differentiated from nontoxigenic E. coli present in the bowel by a variety of in vitro immunochemical, tissue culture, or gene probe tests designed to detect either the toxins or genes that encode for these toxins.

The diagnosis can be completed in about three days.

Causes

The infection is not considered a serious food borne disease hazard in countries having high sanitary standards and practices.

Contamination of water with human sewage may lead to contamination of foods. Infected food handlers may also contaminate foods. These organisms are infrequently isolated from dairy products such as semi-soft cheeses.

Frequency

Only four outbreaks in the United States have been documented, one resulting from consumption of water contaminated with human sewage, another from consumption of Mexican food prepared by an infected food handler.

In two others, one in a hospital cafeteria and one aboard a cruise ship, food was the probable cause. The disease among travelers to foreign countries, however, is common.

Source: http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/chap13.html (Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition).


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