According to Hartford Courant, the Connecticut Department of Public Health recalled certain beef, veal, and bison products sold at Connecticut farms and farmers market following two confirmed cases of E. coli infection.
Department of Public Health Spokeswoman Maura Downes stated that the beef that was recalled was from Adams’ Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts, but was sold to Connecticut farmers’ markets. She also mentioned that the facility slaughters, processes, and packs beef products for small producers in Connecticut, and the producers mainly sell their ground beef products at the farmers’ markets throughout the state.
Two Connecticut residents were hospitalized after eating the beef, but they have both recovered. The E. coli cases are considered a multi-state outbreak, and the Department of Public Health investigation revealed that the beef that made these two individuals sick did indeed come from Adams’ Slaughterhouse.
The United States Department of Agriculture categorized this recall as a Class 1 Recall, which poses a high health risk and can result in death. E. coli may cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps two to eight days after a person has been exposed.
Most people will recover within a week, but some may develop kidney failure, marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. If anyone experiences these symptoms, they are asked to seek emergency medical attention, immediately.
The Department of Public Health encourages consumers to check the U.S. Department of Agricultural codes on the packages if they have left-over beef, veal, or bison products that were purchased at a farmers’ market or farm. If there is no package, it is advised to call the location where the meat was purchased and ask if the product is included in the recall.
According to Food Safety News, E. coli causes an estimated 96,000 illnesses, 3,200 hospitalizations and 31 deaths in the U.S. each year, adding up to $405 million in annual healthcare expenses.
CDC tracked E. coli outbreaks in the 10 years between 2003 and 2012. Between those outbreaks, the agency confirmed 4,930 cases of illness, with 1,274 (26 percent) hospitalizations, 300 (6 percent) cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and 34 deaths.
Food is the most common source of E. coli, accounting for 65 percent of cases.
The most common food source for E. coli turns out to be beef, which has been implicated in 55 percent of E. coli outbreaks, and breaking those beef sources down even further reveals that ground beef causes 69 percent of related outbreaks.