Almost 13,000 Pounds of Veal Under Recall for Several Different E. coli Strains

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on August 9, 2013, announced that almost 13,000 pounds of boneless veal products may be contaminated with various strains of the E. coli bacteria. The recall only applies to 60-lb. boxes of the veal products produced by United Processing, LLC, located in New York Mills, New York.

Products Under Recall

The 60-lb. boxes of veal products have an establishment number of “M-27450” inside the USDA inspection mark, and the box label is generic. After production from June 17 through June 29, the meats were distributed to California and New York wholesalers.

Company Inspection

During a personnel review, FSIS learned of the possible contamination. United Processing took samples of the product, and then accidentally shipped the boneless veal cases to wholesalers. No illnesses due to consumption of the products have yet been reported. FSIS notes that few laboratories test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, which include the types said to contaminate the products in question. Non-O157 Shiga toxin, or STEC, includes STEC O26, O103, O45, O111, O121, and O145, which are the strains thought to contaminate the recalled veal products. These strains of E. coli are harder to identify, according to FSIS.

Symptoms of Infection

The symptoms of STEC infection include abdominal cramps, dehydration, and diarrhea with blood and may begin two to eight days after ingesting a contaminated product. On average, symptoms begin to appear within three or four days. Most infections clear up within 7 days, but some patients may develop a kidney-failure condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Although HUS is more common for children under the age of five and the elderly, the disease can affect people of all ages. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, nosebleeds or bleeding from the mouth, unexplained bruises, swelling, and less-than-frequent urination. Seek medical attention immediately if you or a loved on suffers from any of these symptoms.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that each year, one in six Americans become ill due to foodborne illnesses. In addition, 128,000 per year are hospitalized and 3,000 die due to bacteria, viruses, or microbes found in a food source.

Additional Reading:
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/08/12000-pounds-of-veal-recalled-for-multiple-strains-of-e-coli/
http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsfoodborneestimates/