The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted an investigation into the Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli) outbreak related to ground beef that the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announced last week. As a result of their findings the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a recall of approximately 8,800 pounds of raw ground beef products produced by PT Farm, LLC, of North Haverhill, NH, between June 6 and June 16, 2016.
There have now been 14 cases of illness associated with tainted ground beef in this outbreak investigation. These individuals became ill between June 17 and July 16, 2016 after consuming ground beef at a number of different locations. Among the 14 cases, 5 hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.
“We are grateful that the USDA quickly investigated this situation and took swift action to help us protect the health of the people who may have purchased this ground beef,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of Public Health at DHHS. “While the source of this outbreak has been identified, it is still important that consumers always avoid eating under-cooked ground beef whether at home or at a restaurant. E. coli can be a very serious illness especially for young children and people with compromised immune systems. We will continue to monitor for cases related to this recall.”
The specific retail locations where the beef was distributed are expected to be posted in the coming days: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/current-recalls-and-alerts. The recall includes the following items:
- Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Chestnut Farms” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
- Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “PT Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
- Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Miles Smith Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
- Various weights and various sizes of raw intact and raw non-intact “Robie Farm” beef products packed in cardboard boxes.
Due to the potential for this ground beef to be frozen for later use, it is important for consumers to check their freezers for any recalled product. Ground beef should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160°F or 70°C. It is best to use a thermometer, since color is not a very reliable indicator of ‘doneness.’ People should also prevent cross contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can cause illness. Escherichia coli O157:H7 is bacteria that causes severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high. Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Antibiotics should not be used to treat this infection because they may increase the risk of HUS.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products. The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s. We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.
If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.