Veal, Bison & Beef Recalled Over E.Coli Contamination After Seven Become Ill

Image courtesy of (Kim Moynes)

Seven people in four states have become ill after eating red meat found to be contaminated with E. coli, prompting the recall of thousands of pounds of beef, veal, and bison from Adams Farm Slaughterhouse over the weekend.

Adams Farm Slaughterhouse announced Friday that it would recall products shipped to farmer’s markets, retail locations, and restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York.

While Adams Farm says it has narrowed down he point of contamination to two days in the middle of August and has been working with farmer customers to ensure that none of the product is sold, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service cautions that the products may have been sold outside of the three-state area currently covered by the recall.

The recalled products were produced over a seven week period on July 15, 25, and 27, 2016 as well as August 3, 8, 10, 11, 17, 24 and 26, 2016. The meat was further processed and packed on various dates between July 21, and Sept. 22, 2016, according to Adams Farm.

Still, the company says the UDSA’s suggestion of a full recall of the products packaged in that seven week period is “unjustified and unrealistic.”

“While we are very concerned over the USDA’s over-reaction and its impact on our customers, we have fully cooperated with their requirements but want our customers to be aware that we stand behind all of our products and will continue to stand behind all of our farmer customers and their consumers,” the company said in a statement.

Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that it is currently investigating the multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections related to the meat.

According to the CDC, seven people in four states have become ill after eating the meat, with five of those people eventually hospitalized. Of the customers sickened, three are in Massachusetts, two in Connecticut, and one each in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The illnesses occurred between June 27 and Sept. 4. Those who became ill range in age from one year to 74. No one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, and no deaths have been reported, the CDC says.

The agency says testing and evidence indicate that beef products produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts are the likely source of the outbreak.

Five of the seven consumers who became sick, told the CDC that they had consumed ground beef in the week before they became ill.

Additionally, the Connecticut Department of Public Health collected leftover ground beef from an ill person’s home and from a restaurant for testing. The beef had been produced by Adams Farm Slaughterhouse and test results showed the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 in both samples of the leftover ground beef.

A full list of recalled products can be found on the USDA website.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

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