Oklahoma health officials they are searching for the source of a rare form of E. coli that has killed one person, a 26 year old male,  and sickened 175 others in the northeastern part of the state.

The subtype of bacteria — called E. coli 0111 — is “not normally found in this form of outbreak,” said Leslea Bennett-Webb, director of communication for the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

More than 50 people have been hospitalized and nine people — six of them children — have been placed on dialysis, she said. Read the rest of this entry »

A new European study, published by the Food Commission, claims that the heavy use of antibiotics in livestock farming is the cause of many superbugs, including salmonella, campylobacter and E.coli.

The problem is highlighted in the study by organic farming expert and policy adviser to the Soil Association, Richard Young. Read the rest of this entry »

Nebraska Beef, Ltd., an Omaha, Neb., establishment is recalling approximately 1.2 million pounds of primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced late yesterday.

The recall is “Class 1,” meaning there is a “reasonable probability” that eating the beef “will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death,” the USDA said. It is the most dangerous level of the three classes of recall.

These beef products were produced on June 17, June 24 and July 8, 2008. The shipping containers and product labels bear the establishment number “EST. 19336” inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as the brand “Coleman Natural.” However, these products were sent to establishments and retail stores nationwide for further processing and will likely not bear the establishment number “EST. 19336” on products available for direct consumer purchase.

The problem was discovered through a joint investigation with state departments of health and agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FSIS. To date, 31 cases in 12 states and Canada have been identified in the investigation.

And if that’s not bad enough, last month, Nebraska Beef recalled 5.3 million pounds of material used in making ground beef after 40 illnesses were reported in connection with its ground beef.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_029_2008_Release/index.asp

Alan Lambert, Scout Executive for the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America has reported that beef at the Goshen Boy Scouts camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia has tested positive for Ecoli and is the culprit in the recent E. coli outbreak.  The Goshen Scout Reservation was shut down yesterday for an indefinite period of time. 

Last year alone, over 22 million pounds of beef and vegetables were recalled due to E. coli outbreaks and, currently, there is a multi-state E coli outbreak that has been linked to Nebraska Beef supplied to Kroger Grocery, among others.  This outbreak is possibly linked to an emerging outbreak that was just reported in Massachusetts, where six people have been confirmed stricken with E. coli 0157:H7. Read the rest of this entry »

More bad meat

July 8, 2008

The USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report shows May was another record-setting month for meat production. U.S. commercial meat production totaled 4.22 billion pounds in May, up 4 percent from the 4.08 billion pounds produced in 2007.

Pork production totaled 1.82 billion pounds, up 3 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.06 million head, up 3 percent from May 2007. The average live weight was down 1 pound from the previous year, at 268 pounds. Beef production, at 2.38 billion pounds, was 4 percent higher than last year. Cattle slaughter totaled 3.14 million head, up 3 percent from May 2007.

From January to May, commercial meat production was 21.0 billion pounds, up 7 percent from 2007. Accumulated pork production was up 11 percent, and beef production was up 4 percent.

Cows, pigs and chickens aren’t raised in pretty green meadows. They’re raised in crowded, unfavorable conditions and, especially in the case with dairy cows, are injected with growth hormones. Read the rest of this entry »

Nebraska Beef, Ltd., an Omaha, Neb., establishment is recalling approximately 531,707 pounds of ground beef components that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The problem was discovered by FSIS through traceback investigations and ground beef samples collected from two federally inspected establishments positive for E. coli O157:H7, as well as multiple samples of Kroger brand ground beef positive for E. coli O157:H7.

Kroger brand ground beef samples were collected by the Michigan and Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Health from patients in Michigan and Ohio. Nebraska Beef, Ltd., was identified as a common supplier to those stores in addition to two federally inspected establishments where FSIS obtained a positive ground beef sample that was matched to the outbreak strain identified in Michigan and Ohio.

The epidemiological investigations and a case control study conducted by the Michigan and Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that there is an association between the ground beef products and 35 illnesses reported in Michigan (17) and Ohio (18).

See related story: Yet another sad tale of ground beef contaminated with EColi

Read the rest of this entry »

There is a new outbreak of contaminated ground beef in Michigan and Ohio that to date has infected 32 people with a dangerous strain of EColi. Today the UDSA issued an official Class I, High Risk recall. By itself it may be not that big a deal (although if you’re one of the unfortunate people who have contacted Ecoli it is a big deal). The bigger picture is the recurrent problem. A BIG problem! How many times is this going to happen and nothing changes? What are we going to do about it?

The story:

More than half of the 15 Michiganders affected reported purchasing and consuming ground beef from Kroger stores. Ten of the 15 people infected with the bacteria have been hospitalized. Those affected became ill between May 31 and June 8.

The same strain of E. coli 0157 bacteria has also been confirmed in illnesses among Ohio residents. The confirmed Ohio and Michigan cases have been linked both epidemiologically and genetically to this outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read the rest of this entry »

Dutch’s Meat, Inc., a Trenton, N.J., firm, is recalling approximately 13,275 pounds of ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The following products are subject to the Class I, high health risk recall:

• 10-pound plastic bags of “DUTCH’S MEATS, INC., GROUND BEEF.”

• 10-pound vacuum-packed plastic bags of “DUTCH’S MEATS, INC., GROUND BEEF.”

• 10-pound boxes of “DUTCH’S MEATS, INC., HAMBURGER PATTIES.”

The ground beef products bear the establishment number “EST. 5424” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The recalled products were packaged from May 27, 2008 through June 6, 2008. This packaging date is stamped on the bag label or box. Read the rest of this entry »

Class I Recall, Health Risk: HIGH

Palama Holdings, LLC, a Kapolei, Hawaii, firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 68,670 pounds of ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today. The ground beef products subject to recall were produced from April 9, 2008, through April 21, 2008. The products subject to recall were distributed to retail, food service establishments and commissaries in Hawaii.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

For a complete list of products subject to recall go to:  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_014_2008_Release/index.asp, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHOTLINE.

William D. Marler, Food Safety Attorney, Calls for CDC Long-term Study of Nation’s School Children and Congressional Hearings on Safety of United States Beef Supply.

The largest recall of beef in U.S. history over 143 million pounds and the solid evidence that USDA has failed to enforce its own ban against downer cattle being used in the nation’s school lunch program, demand immediate action by Congress says food safety attorney William D. Marler.

Marler says Congress should call hearings on the safety of the beef supply in the United States and provide funds to the Centers on Disease Control to study children for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) who consumed the meat supplied to the National School Lunch Program. Read the rest of this entry »