In the first 10 years of my practice, 90% of the cases I did were E. coli cases linked to ground beef. Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) was called the “Hamburger Disease.” It took several years after deeming E. coli O157:H7 an adulterant in ground beef for industry, government, retailers and consumers to bend the curve.
I just hope we have not gotten too confident.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert due to concerns that ground beef products in HelloFresh meal kits may be associated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 illness. A recall was not requested because the products are no longer available for purchase.
The meal kits containing ground beef for this public health alert were shipped to consumers from July 2-21, 2022. The following products are subject to the public health alert:
- 10-oz. plastic vacuum-packed packages containing “GROUND BEEF 85% LEAN/15% FAT” with codes “EST#46481 L1 22 155” or “EST#46481 L5 22 155” on the side of the packaging.
The ground beef packages bear “EST.46841” inside the USDA mark of inspection and on the plastic ground beef package.
FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health partners are investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 and raw ground beef is the probable source of the reported illnesses. Traceback information identified that multiple case-patients received ground beef produced at establishment M46841 and distributed by HelloFresh in meal kits from July 2-21, 2022. Traceback of materials used to produce the ground beef is ongoing and FSIS continues to work with suppliers and public health partners on the investigation.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away.
Perhaps the FSIS Outbreak Response will move from suspect to confirmed.