E. coli Prompts Massachusetts Firm to Recall 2,500+ Lbs of Beef

Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, LLC., of Athol, Massachusetts, is recalling approximately 2,574 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The recall is considered a Class I, which means this is a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

This recall was initiated after the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) confirmed a positive ground beef sample for E. coli O157:H7, which it collected during an epidemiological investigation. Working in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), the FSIS determined that there exists an association between the ground beef products and an illness in the state of Massachusetts. FSIS is continuing to work with the MDPH on the investigation. Anyone with signs or symptoms of food borne illness should consult a physician.

The following products are subject to recall:

1,025 pounds of “Beef Cuts and Ground” packed for Mazzarese
697 pounds of “Beef Cuts and Ground” packed for Side Hill Farm
852 pounds of “Beef Cuts and Ground” packed for Sweet Water Farm

Each package bears a label with the establishment number “EST. 5497″ inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as the packaging date of “11/11/2009.” The beef products were distributed to private owners on three separate farms in the state of Massachusetts.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors, and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to food borne illness. E. coli may also cause fatal blood poisoning, cystitis, deadly septicemia, and death. In the US, E. coli is the leading cause of food-borne illness, sickening about 73,000 and killing 61. Individuals concerned about such an illness should contact a physician.

We frequently report on E. coli and have discussed that this is a bacterium—a fecal coliform—found in the intestines of mammals: Warm-blooded animals, including humans. E. coli present in a water system can point to recent sewage or animal waste contamination. Some E. coli strains are necessary for digestion and harmless, while some are harmful, deadly, toxin producing, and part of a group of E. coli called Verocytotoxigenic E. coli, or VTECs.

We have also long been reporting on distressing reports of cases of drug resistant E. coli being recounted world-wide that are similar in path to a mutated staph called MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that, when not treated early, is resistant to all but the one antibiotic of last resort.

The FSIS is advising consumer questions regarding the recall to be directed to the company’s Business Manager, Edward Maltby, at (413) 427-7323. Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

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