All News / Outbreaks /

Beef recall not tied to local cases

E. coli reported in meat in four Western states and Canada.

By Barbara Anderson

The Fresno Bee


The recall of 75,000 pounds of ground beef appears to have no connection to a recent E. coli outbreak among Fresno County residents, health officials said Monday afternoon.

State health officials said three Southern Californians were among 12 people in Western states who tested positive for E. coli from ground beef believed to be contaminated with the bacteria.

The other cases associated with the ground beef were in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Alberta, Canada, a state health official said.

Fresno County has been investigating an E. coli outbreak since May 26. Thus far, 15 confirmed cases of E. coli O157 have been identified in the county. One man remained in the hospital Monday with kidney complications from the infection.

Ground beef was not a prevalent food item in connection with the county's E. coli investigation, said Tim Casagrande, director of Fresno County's environmental health services department.

At least five of the affected people were at a private party on May 19, county officials have said. A food supplier for the party also provided food for two other private gatherings the same day, they said.

But no one food item has been associated with the outbreak, Casagrande said Monday. Tri-tip, rice pilaf, salads and bread products, among other food items, are part of the investigation, he said.

The county is waiting for results from human and food samples sent to the state laboratory in Richmond for analysis, said David Luchini, communicable disease division manager.

The county hopes to have results this week of tests for E. coli O157:H7, a particularly virulent strain, Luchini said.

E. coli, which is short for Escherichia coli, is a bacteria that lives in the lower intestines of animals and is excreted in feces.

Patti Roberts, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Health Services, said in the cases of the recalled ground beef, E. coli O157:H7 with a rare DNA fingerprint pattern was identified using a federal Centers for Disease and Prevention system -- the same method used to identify the bacteria in a multistate spinach E. coli outbreak last year.

People became ill between April 25 and May 2, Roberts said.

Most of the ground beef products were sold at Albertsons stores in California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming and Save-A-Lot stores in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps that may be severe and diarrhea that may turn bloody within one to three days. E. coli sometimes can lead to complications including kidney failure.

The Fresno County health department said people experiencing symptoms should call their physicians.

To reach the Fresno County Department of Community Health, call (559) 445-3529.

Get Help

Affected by an outbreak or recall?

The team at Marler Clark is here to answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for a lawsuit, what questions to ask your doctor, and more.

Get a free consultation
Related Resources
E. coli Food Poisoning

What is E. coli and how does it cause food poisoning? Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a highly studied, common species of bacteria that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae, so...

E. coli O157:H7

E. coli O157:H7 is a foodborne pathogen that causes food poisoning. E. coli O157:H7 is the most commonly identified and the most notorious Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) serotype in...

Non-O157 STEC

Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli can also cause food poisoning. E. coli O157:H7 may be the most notorious serotype of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), but there are at least...

Sources of E. coli

Where do E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) come from? The primary reservoirs, or ultimate sources, of E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC in nature are...

Transmission of and Infection with E. coli

While many dairy cattle-associated foodborne disease outbreaks are linked to raw milk and other raw dairy products (e.g., cheeses, butter, ice cream), dairy cattle still represent a source of contamination...

Outbreak Database

Looking for a comprehensive list of outbreaks?

The team at Marler Clark is here to answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for a lawsuit, what questions to ask your doctor, and more.

View Outbreak Database