Wednesday, November 4, 2009

E. Coli Outbreak - PLEASE READ

Please read, this outbreak has affected people in 12 states - in all corners of the U.S. I can't believe the article was "buried" and not front page news. Another case FOR farm to table consumption.

2 dead, 28 sick from E. coli outbreak

November 3, 2009 2:37 p.m. EST
Consumers should ask at their point of purchase if products are subject to recall, the USDA said.
Consumers should ask at their point of purchase if products are subject to recall, the USDA said.
  • Two people have died after becoming infected with E. coli in this outbreak
  • E. coli is a bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, kidney failure
  • Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of beef

New York (CNN) -- Two people have died and 28 people have fallen ill with matching strains of E. coli after an outbreak in ground beef, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Sixteen of those people are in hospitals and three have developed kidney failure as a result of the contamination, the CDC said late Monday.

The U.S. Department of Agricultureannounced last week that Fairbank Farms in Ashville, New York, was recalling more than half a million pounds of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with a strain of E. coli, a potentially deadly species of bacteria.

The products subject to recall were sent to retailers including Trader Joe's, Price Chopper, Lancaster and Wild Harvest, Shaw's, BJ's, Ford Brothers, and Giant Food Stores. The exact products affected are listed on the USDA's Web site.

The recall was for distribution centers in eight states, but Fairbank Farms said some retailers may have sent the affected beef to other states.

Each package is printed with "EST. 492" inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the nutrition label. They were packaged on September 15 and 16 and may have been labeled at the retail stores with a sell-by date from September 19 through 28, the USDA said.

Consumers should ask at their point of purchase if the products they have purchased are subject to recall, the USDA said.

E. coli can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and people with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service advised consumers to safely prepare raw meat products, whether they are fresh or frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature, the FSIS said.

Of the 28 people infected with E. coli from the outbreak, eight are in Massachusetts; four each are in Connecticut and New Hampshire; two each are in Maine, Pennsylvania and South Dakota; and one each is in California, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Vermont, according to the CDC.


  1. I appreciated the E-coli information. Perhaps, the burgers need to be slightly more well done :-)

  2. I always cook my meat well done, but this is sobering. I wonder if this is more prevalent...or just more widely reported... just thinking out loud

  3. Sheesh! Makes me glad we primarily eat turkey burger, but still, even that's not safe.

    Thanks for the news.

  4. Velva - yes, cooking to an internal temperature of 160 will kill the bacteria - but the fact remains there are feces in our food. BEST practice is to buy direct from the farm OR buy from a local butcher and have them grind fresh or grind your own.

    Kathy - it is getting more prevalent as the meat packaging plants up their line speed and hire poorly trained slaughterhouse personnel. The onus is on profit - not adhering to FDA standards and they (the management) will take any shortcuts they can to increase profitability.

    CK: it is a national problem and a national disgrace that our food supply is poisoned... oh boy... do I feel a ranting post coming on....

  5. Thanks so much for the warning. My state is not listed, but I know people in the affected states and will pass this on to them.

  6. Marguerite - thanks! I'm sure your friends will thank you too.

  7. Jesus, do we need any thing else that will kill us!?

  8. Thank you so much for the warning.

  9. Otin - our FOOD! How despicable is that?

    Nancy - you are welcome - I just get so sick when I hear of this. There IS a better way....

  10. There are feces in the meat, another theory is that e coli has started from feeding the cows a corn based diet. It's completely against their nature to eat primarily corn so e coli develops in their first stomach. Just a theory! Something about something missing in their digestive tracts to break down something like bad bacteria.

    It's a good day to be a vegetarian!
    Oh, I think buying from farmer's markets is awesome! The one in San Antonio used to sell buffalo meat.

  11. I saw that on our local news. Ick. Makes me glad i don't eat red meat. It is scary though, isn't it?

  12. Thanks for the heads up. It's hasn't been recalled where I am at this point, but given these recalls can expand I appreciate the info.

  13. Phoebe - on farm you will never see a cow eating corn. They have several stomachs that are designed to digest grass. They are only fed corn on feedlots to fatten them for slaughter. On the feedlots they are stuffed in and are standing in their own feces. They eat, stand and live in their feces then when they are slaughtered, care is not taken when removing the stomach and bowels and the meat becomes contaminated by the feces that are inside of them....

    Unknown - you are welcome

    Sara - it's not just beef - our vegetable supply has been contaminated with feces also.

    Confused - yes, the recalls can expand quickly.


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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