In December of 2009, a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 cases in six states (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington) were linked by the CDC and state and local health departments to National Steak and Poultry, a company based in Owasso, OK. On Christmas Eve, the company recalled 248,000 pounds of beef products contaminated with the highly toxic E. coli O157:H7.
As of Monday, January 4, 2010, 21 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 had been reported from 16 states. Known illness onset dates ranged from October 3, 2009 through December 14, 2009. Most patients became ill between mid-October and late November. Patients ranged in age from 14 to 87 years. There were 9 reported hospitalizations, 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths associated with the consumption of E. coli-contaminated tenderized beef products..
Bloggers and food writers broke most of the story, and were first to report the extent of the outbreak and the number of states involved. Although the recall was issued on December 24th, the CDC did not post E. coli outbreak data until January 6.