About E. coli

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About E. coli Blog

Why the “Silence of the Steaks?” When will the public be told the extent of the recent E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak?

On December 24, 2009, FSIS issued a notice about a recall of 248,000 pounds of beef products from National Steak and Poultry that “may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.” The recall was issued after FSIS determined there was an association between non-intact steaks (blade-tenderized prior to further processing) and illnesses in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington. The CDC has said that at least “some” of the illnesses appear to be associated with products subject to the FSIS recall. Rumor has it that a state (Minnesota, perhaps?) has ill people who ate hamburger, not blade-tenderized steaks.

The Outbreak linked (apparently, in part) to blade-tenderized steaks from National Steak and Poultry has sickened 21 people from 16 states. Most victims became ill between mid-October and late November 2009. They ranged in age from 14 to 87 years. There have been 9 reported hospitalizations and 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

That begs the question, why the silence of the steaks? Where did the National Steak and Poultry get the steaks? Where did the Minnesota hamburger (or trim) come from? Rumors are that it is from a Colorado facility (JBS Swift, perhaps?) that has seen its share of E. coli O157:H7 problems in the past. So, again why the silence of the steaks?

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