Ham products produced by Williams Brothers Meat Market in Washington, Missouri, are linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened four people, according to a report from emissourian.com. The store has issued a recall for all cured or smoked ready-to-eat ham including whole ham, ham steaks and sandwich ham products that were packaged between May 25, 2018 and June 1, 2018. Consumers should check their freezers and take care not to eat any product included in the recall.
According to the news outlet, the Franklin County Health Department began investigating the outbreak in August when illnesses were first reported. Results from epidemiological tests linked the August cases to another E. coli illness that was reported in June.
The owner of the store told emissourian.com that E. coli was found in one 16-pound, bone-in ham but the store recalled all 125 pounds of ham in that batch due to cross-contamination concerns. All other products were tested and no others were found to be contaminated, he said.
E. coli Symptoms and Complications
Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include diarrhea and abdominal cramps, usually develop within three days of exposure and last about a week. Young children, seniors, and people who have compromised immune systems. Over-the-counter medicine for diarrhea should not be given to E. coli patients as it can increase the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
HUS is kidney failure from E. coli. Between 5 percent and 10 percent of people with E. coli infections develop HUS, which is life-threatening. Anyone with symptoms should seek immediate medical care. These symptoms include:
- Decreased urination
- Pale skin
- Unexplained weakness
- Unexplained bruises or bleeding