DNA Fingerprint Tracks E. coli Outbreak to Ohio

WASHINGTON, US – A beef retailer in Ohio is recalling an undetermined amount of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced this week.
calendar icon 27 June 2008
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These products were distributed to Kroger stores in Michigan and Columbus and Toledo, Ohio. FSIS has confirmed that none of the affected products remain available for purchase at stores; however consumers are urged to check their refrigerators and freezers and discard or return the ground beef products for a refund.

This recall was initiated after epidemiological investigations and a case control study conducted by the Michigan and Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that there is an association between the ground beef products and 32 illnesses reported in Michigan (15) and Ohio (17).

The illnesses were linked through the epidemiological investigation by their pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern, or DNA fingerprint, found in PulseNet, a database maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone with signs or symptoms of foodborne illness should consult a medical professional.

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 foodborne illness.

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