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56 tons of ground beef sent to restaurants recalled on possible link to E. coli outbreak

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A Georgia company has recalled 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef that might be connected to a 10-state E. coli outbreak. The recall came about 10 hours after a CDC update on the outbreak said the investigation couldn’t find commonality in the ground beef involved.

The beef from K2D Foods, working under the name Colorado Premium Foods, was headed to distributors in Florida (Fort Orange) and Georgia (Norcross) who would sell the beef to restaurants, according to the USDA recall notice. The email notification of the recall went out at 1:28 a.m. Wednesday.

Florida just joined the E. coli outbreak with three cases while Georgia, along with Kentucky and Tennessee, has been battered from the start. The latter three states account for 139 of the 156 cases so far in this outbreak.

Georgia and Kentucky’s reports of E. coli cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 26, started the CDC and USDA investigation of the outbreak. This recall came after the CDC, USDA and Tennessee Department of Health tracked cases to a Tennessee restaurant.

“Unopened, intact ground beef collected as part of the ongoing investigation from a restaurant location, where multiple case-patients reported dining, tested positive for E. coli O103,” the recall notice said. “At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak.”

The beef went out in cardboard boxes with “use thru” dates of 4/14/19, 4/17/19, 4/20/19, 4/23/19, 4/28/19, and 4/30/19. “EST 51308” is inside th USDA inspection label.

Unlike the E. coli 0157:H7 in many outbreaks, this version of E. coli hasn’t brought as much hospitalization, only 20 people out of 156, or any hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). That’s the kidney failure that can turn E. coli into a deadly problem.

“Given the numbers of people sickened with E. col iO103 and the number of states involved, I expect the scope of the recall to expand in the coming hours,” said food safety attorney Bill Marler, who made his reputation on E. coli cases in the 1990s. “However, we are lucky that the severity of the illnesses are less than what we would see with more virulent stains of other non-O157 STEC and STEC O157:H7.”

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.


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