Cargill Beef E. coli O26 Outbreak and Recall


Cargill Meat Solutions of Pennsylvania has recalled 8,500 pounds of ground beef products due to contamination with E. coli O26. Although much more rare than E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O26 is one of the strains that makes humans extremely ill. Three illnesses have been connected to the outbreak, two in Maine and one in New York. There is no word yet if any of the ill persons have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infection that causes kidney failure and can trigger other serious illnesses.

The beef was sold in 8 States at BJ's grocery stores: New York, Maine, Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maryland. A list of stores that received the recalled beef is available here. The recalled beef was sold in 42-pound cases of "GROUND BEEF FINE 90/10," containing three (3) - approximately 14 pound chubs each. These products have a "use/freeze by" date of "07/01/10," and an identifying product code of "W69032." There is concern that consumers may still have the product in their freezers.

Escherichia coli or E. coli are bacterial germs that inhabit the intestinal tracts of animals. Many strains (also called serotypes) are harmless or even beneficial, but there are 6-7 illness causing strains, called Shiga toxins. E. coli O26, one of the lesser known strains, is the source of the current outbreak and recall.

The first symptom of E. coli infection is the onset of abdominal pain and severe cramps, followed within 24 hours by diarrhea, often bloody. This is hemorrhagic colitis, and it typically occurs within 2 to 5 days of ingestion of E. coli; however the incubation period—the time between the ingestion of E. coli bacteria and the onset of illness—may be as broad as 1 to 10 days.

The E. coli attorneys at Marler Clark have been representing victims of E. coli infection for more than 17 years. As the foremost law firm representing victims of E. coli, Marler Clark is expert in assisting families that are dealing with a severe illness make sure they receive the proper medical care as well as compensation for the extraordinary costs that a severe illness may incur. If you think you or a family member may have been infected with E. coli, seek medical attention and make sure a stool sample obtained. Contact us to speak to an E. coli expert at no cost to you.

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