Cargill ground beef is the likely source of an E. coli O26 outbreak that has sickened 17 people, killing one of them. “Eating a hamburger shouldn’t kill you,” said E. coli attorney Fred Pritzker, founder of the national food safety law firm Pritzker Hageman which has won millions for clients sickened by E. coli and for families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one.
Ground Beef Recall
A ground beef recall has been issued in association with this outbreak. Cargill Meat Solutions of Fort Morgan, Colo. is recalling about 132,606 pounds of ground beef products made from the chuck portion of a beef carcass that may be contaminated with E. coli O26. The recalled products have the establishment number “EST. 86R” inside the USDA mark of inspection. They were shipped to retail locations nationwide.
Health officials are concerned that some people may have the recalled beef in their freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products should not consume them.
E. coli O26 Outbreak
Health officials notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) of E. coli illnesses on Aug. 16, 2018. Working together with state health and agricultural departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), investigators “determined that raw ground beef was the probable source of the reported illnesses,” according to a statement by FSIS. Ground beef E. coli outbreaks are not uncommon.
Seventeen illnesses and one fatality have been reported. FSIS did not report which states were involved.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection include diarrhea that is often bloody and vomiting. These symptoms usually develop within three days of exposure and last about a week.
Between five percent and 10 percent of people with E. coli infections will develop a life-threatening complication called Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. Those most at risk are children under 5 years of age, seniors and people with weakened immune systems.
HUS symptoms usually develop about one week after initial E. coli symptoms. They include:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Painful cramps
- Low or no urine output
- Pale skin
- Easy bruising
- Skin rash (fine red spots)
- Jaundice (yellowing skin)
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.