Illinois officials have issued a public alert regarding certain ground beef because product testing following a reported illnesses showed E. coli contamination.
Testing showed the non-O157 E. coli was present in beef prepared by a “custom exempt” establishment, David B’s Custom Meats in Carlinville, IL, in Macoupin County, according to a notice from the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA).
There is concern that consumers may still have unused portions of the implicated beef in their homes. The ground beef has been sold since the beginning if this year and was still on sale as of yesterday. Freezing does not kill E. coli bacteria, so consumers are urged to check their freezers and refrigerators for the implicated beef.
“Custom exempt meat products are not inspected and cannot be offered for sale; because of this, a recall of the affected product was not requested,” according to the public alert issued by the state.
“The problem was discovered when a resident of Macoupin County notified local public health officials about sickness after consuming ground beef. The sample collected from the remaining product tested positive for presence of NON-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E.coli.”
About E. coli infections
Anyone who has eaten any of the implicated products and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about their possible exposure to the bacteria. Specific tests are required to diagnose the infections, which can mimic other illnesses.
The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some patients may also have a fever. Most patients recover within five to seven days. Others can develop severe or life-threatening symptoms and complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening kidney failure complication, known as a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor.
Many people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent injuries or death. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children younger than five years old because of their immature immune systems, older adults because of deteriorating immune systems, and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients.
People who experience HUS symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical care. People with HUS will likely be hospitalized because the condition can cause other serious and ongoing problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, brain damage, and neurologic problems.
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