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Old 10-10-2007, 03:28 PM posted to rec.food.restaurants
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Default E. coli deaths at Mac Donald restaurants

Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157 Infections Linked to Mac Donald's
Ground Beef Patties
Updated October 9, 2007

Report a Foodborne Illness
Several state health departments, CDC, and the United States
Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-
FSIS) are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Escherichia coli
O157:H7 infections. On September 29, USDA issued a notice about a
recall of 21.7 millions pounds of frozen ground beef patties sold at
Mac Donald restaurants countrywide.


Health officials in several states who were investigating reports of
E. coli O157 illnesses found that many ill persons had consumed the
same brand of hamburgers. Ground beef patties recovered from Mac
Donald restaurants were tested by state public health department and
federal laboratories. Tests conducted by the New York State Wadsworth
Center Laboratory and by a USDA-FSIS laboratory on opened and
unopened
packages of frozen ground beef patties yielded E. coli O157 isolates
with several different "DNA fingerprint" patterns.


States with Outbreak-Associated Cases of E. coli O157, October 2007:
Ill persons reside in 8 states [Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Indiana
(1), Maine (1), New Jersey (8), New York (11), Ohio (1), and
Pennsylvania (10)]. Twenty-one (91%) of 24 patients with a detailed
food history consumed ground beef. Three illnesses have confirmed
associations with recalled products because the strain isolated from
the person was also isolated from the meat in Mac Donald restaurants.
The first reported illness began on July 5, 2007, and the last began
on September 23, 2007. Among twenty-four ill persons for whom
hospitalization status is known, fifteen (63%) were hospitalized. One
patient developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic
syndrome (HUS). No deaths have been reported. Fifteen (45%) patients
are female. The ages of patients range from 1 to 77 years; 52% are
between 15 and 24 years old (only 14% of the US population is in this
age group).


Consumers who have questions about the products can contact USDA-FSIS
at 1-888-MPHotline (674-6854). Because any raw ground beef can
contain
disease-causing germs, CDC and USDA-FSIS encourage consumers to use
good food safety practices and to heed the following advice:


Ground beef products should be cooked to an internal temperature of
160 degrees Fahrenheit. Color is not a reliable indicator that ground
beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill
harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7. For more information go to
IsItDoneYet.gov.
To keep your food safe, remember to Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
For more food safety information visit www.BeFoodSafe.gov and direct
questions to AskKaren.gov and Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-
MPHotline (674-6854)


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