Health Department Advises Vermonters of Recall of Frozen Ground Beef Products Made By NJ Company

For Immediate Release: September 27, 2007
Media Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is advising Vermonters to check for frozen ground beef products made by the Topps Meat Company, LLC,of Elizabeth, NJ. The company recalled approximately 331,582 pounds of frozen ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Twenty-one cases of E. coli in eight states have been reported that are possibly associated with the recall of the ground beef. No illnesses related to the frozen patties have been reported in Vermont.

The beef products were produced on June 22, July 12 or July 23 and were distributed to food service institutions and retail establishments nationwide.

E. coli 0157:H7 is known for causing severe diarrhea from undercooked hamburgers. E. coli 0157:H7 can severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Sometimes the infection causes non-bloody diarrhea or no symptoms.

Usually little or no fever is present, and the illness resolves in five to ten days. In children under five years of age and the elderly, the infection can cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail.

The organism lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and humans and can also be spread when feces from contaminated food or water is transmitted from human to human or animal to human.

Anyone with bloody diarrhea, or diarrhea and a fever, should contact their healthcare provider. Anyone who discovers the product in their freezer should throw it away without opening the package or letting it thaw, or contact the Health Department at 802-863-7240 or 1-800-640-4374.

The products subject to recall include:

Each package also bears the establishment number “Est. 9748” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

For more information on the recall visit: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fsis_Recalls/

For more information about this strain of E. coli, visit the Department of Health online fact sheet “Facts about E. coli 0157:H7.”

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