A Cincinnati company is recalling 72,800 pounds of ground beef for potential contamination with E. coli O157:H7.
J. B. Meats Thursday issued a recall of ground beef and beef patties after 2 Ohio residents were hospitalized with E. coli infections thought to be linked to its meat.
The ground beef subject to recall was sold to restaurants in clear plastic bags processed between August 18, 2010 and August 18, 2011. The processing date is indicated on the packaging, which also bears the establishment number “EST. 1188.”
The ground beef products were sold to 10 to 12 Cincinnati area reastaurants, who have been notified and are no longer serving them to customers, said Mark Woderman, owner of J.B. Meats, according to Fox19 News.
The two E. coli victims fell ill on July 20 and 21, after consuming ground beef on the 16th and 17th of that month at Arthur’s Restaurant in Hyde Park.
“From what we know, two individuals were served uncooked meat,” said Cincinnati Health Department Spokesperson Rocky Merz. “Medium rare. Ground beef,” reported Fox19.
Merz says it is likely that the contaminated meat has been used up by now, but that it is important that ground beef be cooked through
The firm was notified August 18 of an investigation into its meat by the Cincinnatti Health Department.
While the illnesses have not been definitively linked to J. B. Meats, the company has issued the recall as a precautionary measure.
Though only two victims have been confirmed at this point, Erica Pitchfork, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, says it’s possible that more were sickened, but that their illnesses were not reported if they were not hospitalized.
How the meat may have become contaminated remains unclear at this point.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection include abdominal pain and severe cramping, followed by diarrhea, which can become watery or bloody. Less common side effects include vomiting and fever. The time between exposure and onset of symptoms can range anywhere from 1 to 10 days.
Anyone exhibiting these symptoms is encouraged to contact his or her healthcare provider.