E. coli In Canadian Beef Prompts Warning from USDA

E. coli discovered in Canadian beef prompted a warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in the form of a Public Health Alert for the raw, boneless beef trim products.

Early this month, FSIS testing of imported raw, boneless beef trim product from Canadian Establishment 38, XL Foods, Inc. was positive for E. coli. In turn, the FSIS alerted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA); follow-up testing by FSIS and CFIA prompted the CFIA to announce the recall implemented on September 16, by XL Foods, Inc. of an array of its ground beef products.

The CFIA has, since the initial recall this Sunday, expanded the recall’s scope to include more products, The Seattle Times said.

Canadian Establishment 38, XL Foods, Inc. notified its Canadian and the U.S. customers that beef trim associated with the recall was shipped to them and the FSIS is confirming that no additional, potentially contaminated, product was released into commerce.

To date. the products subject to the Canadian recall were distributed to U.S. establishments in California, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. In the U.S., the meat may have been further processed into various products, such as ground beef, ground beef patties, beef jerky, and pastrami, the Seattle Times pointed out.

Information on this recall, when available, can be accessed in the form of a retail distribution list on the FSIS web site at www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.

As we’ve explained, most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe. While those sickened typically recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection.

Rarely, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur; this can happen at any age but is most common in children under five years old and in older adults. People with HUS should be hospitalized immediately, as their kidneys may stop working and they may be at risk for other serious health problems.

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