The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this weekend that Adams’ Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts is recalling veal, bison and beef products that have tested positive for Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 and has sickened patients in multiple states, including two in Connecticut.
DPH has been collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the USDA, and other state health departments to investigate a multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 linked to ground beef consumption. Two Connecticut residents are involved in this multistate outbreak; both patients were hospitalized and have since recovered. Left-over raw ground beef obtained from the two patients tested positive for the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 at the DPH Public Health Laboratory.
The investigation revealed the ground beef consumed by patients in Connecticut has been traced to Adams’ Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts. This facility slaughters, processes, and packs beef products for some small producers here in Connecticut. Some of these producers only sell their ground beef products directly at the farm or at farmers’ markets throughout the state.
DPH encourages consumers who still have left-over beef, veal or bison products purchased from local farmers’ markets or directly from a farm in Connecticut to check the USDA plant code # printed on the label to verify whether or not the product was processed by Adams’ Slaughterhouse #5497 and is included in this recall. Consumers who do not have access to the original packaging can contact the farm or retailer where they purchased the meat directly to ask whether or not their product is included in the recall.
E.coli O157:H7 infection can result in severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), vomiting, and fever. Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Consumers are reminded to not eat raw or undercooked beef. Ground beef hamburgers and beef mixtures, such as meat loaf, should be cooked to 158°F internally, measured with a food thermometer. If you have already consumed the recalled product and believe you may have developed symptoms of illness, you should contact your physician for follow-up.