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Raw Beef Products Potentially Linked to E. Coli Recalled

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    Raw Beef Products Potentially Linked to E. Coli Recalled
    AP
    2006 National Escherichia, Shigella, Vibrio Reference Unit at CDC Under a magnification of 6836x, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted a number of Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria of the strain O157:H7. E. coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of this bacterium. Although most strains are harmless, and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, this strain produces a powerful toxin, which can cause severe illness.

    E. coli O157:H7 was first recognized as a cause of illness in 1982 during an outbreak of severe bloody diarrhea; the outbreak was traced to contaminated hamburgers. Since then, most infections have come from eating undercooked ground beef.

    The combination of letters and numbers in the name of the bacterium refers to the specific markers found on its surface, which distinguishes it from other types of E. coli. Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an emerging cause of foodborne illness. An estimated 73,000 cases of infection, and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Person-to-person contact in families and child care centers is also an important mode of transmission. Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk, and after swimming in, or drinking sewage-contaminated water.

    Consumers can prevent E. coli O157:H7 infection by thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding unpasteurized milk, and washing hands carefully. Because the organism lives in the intestines of healthy cattle, preventive measures on cattle farms and during meat processing are being investigated.

    A Georgia company is recalling more than 110,000 pounds of raw ground beef product that may be linked to E. coli

    K2D Foods, which was doing business with Colorado Premium Foods, has announced a recall for 113,424 pounds of raw beef products, the United States Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday. The potentially contaminated products have "use thru" dates of April 14, April 17, April 20, April 23, April 28 and April 30 of this year.

    The recall is for the brand’s two 24 pound vacuum-packed packages in cardboard boxes. Safety officials said the items were shopped to distributors in Florida and Georgia to ship to restaurants.

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