The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced a recall of 120,872 pounds of ground beef nationwide over concerns it may be contaminated with E. coli O103.
Lakeside Refrigerated Services, a processing facility based in Swedesboro, New Jersey, issued the recall over the affected products. The products were produced between Feb. 1 through April 8.
There have been no confirmed reports of adverse events related to people consuming the beef products, the FSIS announced. Consumers are instructed not to eat any products affected by the recall, and to return the products to the place of purchase, or dispose of them.
All of the products that are subject to recall carry the establishment number “EST. 46841” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The complete list of products and product codes subject to recall can be found here, and labels for the products can be found here, according to FSIS.
The potential contamination was found during routine testing of some imported products, FSIS stated. The agency said that the strain of E. coli detected—Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) serotype O103—can cause people to become ill about 2 to 8 days after consuming the organism.
“Most people infected with STEC O103 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe,” according to FSIS. “Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample.”
The FSIS said that the usual treatment includes “vigorous rehydration” and other supportive care, and that antibiotic treatment is “generally not recommended.” It added that most people recover within a week, but, rarely, some develop a more severe infection.”
FSIS said that a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) may occur, although it is uncommon with STEC O103 infection. People who experience symptoms related to HUS—easy bruising, pale skin, and less urination—should seek emergency medical care.
E. coli is a type of bacteria commonly found in the environment, as well as in the intestines of people and animals. While most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make people sick, bringing about conditions such as diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, pneumonia, and other illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Most people typically get better within 5 to 7 days of a STEC infection, the CDC states on its website. However, in some people, the infection can be severe or even life-threatening.