The recall of 1.8 million pounds of ground beef possibly tainted with the bacteria has become a national concern as Memorial Day approaches and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service now says stores in nine states may have received the beef contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The federal agency, which announced the recall earlier this week, has since named five retailers that may have received the tainted products:
- Gordon Food Service Marketplace stores in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin
- Surf N Turf Market in Sebring, Florida
- Giorgio’s Italian Delicatessen in Stuart, Florida
- M Sixty Six General Store in Orleans, Michigan
- Buchtel Food Mart in Buchtel, Ohio
The list of stores released Wednesday is not final.
It is recommended that consumers return or throw out meat that has the code EST.2574B and a production date between March 31 and April 18, 2014.
The initial probe began after consumers reported becoming ill after eating at restaurants between April 22 and May 2. Investigators now worry that that the same beef from Detroit-based Wolverine Packing Company might have been sent to grocers and other retail outlets.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Some strains can cause severe illness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Signs and symptoms of E. coli infection usually begin three or four days after exposure to the bacteria.
- Diarrhea, which may range from mild and watery to severe and bloody
- Abdominal cramping, pain or tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting, in some people
Medical help should be sought if diarrhea is persistent, severe, or bloody.
Safety tips for cooking this holiday weekend:
- Wash hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards or any other dishes that come in contact with meat immediately.
- Keep raw meats away from other foods that will not be cooked.
- Refrigerate raw meat within two hours after purchase, or one hour if temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
S.C. Rhyne is a blogger and novelist in New York City. Follow the author on Twitter @ReporterandGirl, http://Facebook.com/TheReporterandTheGirl and visit her website at http://www.SCRhyne.com