As many as 21 people in 8 different states may have fallen ill after eating hamburgers possibly contaminated with E. Coli bacteria, an Associated Press Article reported on Wednesday, September 26th. The company, Topps Meat Company, is the leading U.S. manufacturer of frozen hamburgers.
A spokesperson from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that 3 cases were a result of the ingestion of the ground beef with the other 18 cases possibly linked and under investigation. The confirmed cases occurred in the states of New York and Florida while the cases under investigation were reported in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Topps Meat Company based out of Elizabeth, N.J. announced a recall of 331,582 pounds of frozen beef patties in 21 different products. The boxes recalled carry the number “EST. 9748” inside the USDA mark of inspection and were produced on June 22, July 12 or July 23. A Topps spokeswoman said officials continue working to find the cause of the contamination.
Symptoms of E. Coli are flu-like and include stomach cramps that may be severe and cause diarrhea that may turn bloody within one to three days. Children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable to the more serious effects of E. Coli which in extreme cases can include kidney failure.
The recalling of products due to contamination has become an all too common occurrence in recent months as E. Coli outbreaks become more common in the US. According to the CDC, an estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year and most of the cases have been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef.