Bison burgers linked to E. coli outbreak

Bison burgers linked to E. coli outbreak

Experts have linked ground bison meat to 21 Escherichia coliinfections, which have led to eight hospitalizations. To date, the outbreak has affected people in seven different states.
Raw burger patty
Ground bison meat appears to be behind the recent E. coli outbreak.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they have traced the outbreak to the production of infected ground bison meat by Northfork Bison Distributions, Inc.

The company have already recalled bison burgers (which some people refer to as buffalo burgers) that they produced between February 22, 2019, and April 30, 2019.

In a Food Safety Alert that the CDC published on July 16, they write:

“Consumers who have recalled ground bison burger patties in their home should not eat them. Throw them away or return them to the store for a refund.”

They continue, “Even if some of the recalled patties have been eaten and no one got sick, do not eat them.”

How many people has it affected?

So far, 21 people have reported infections with two strains of E. coli — strains 0103 and 0121. These strains produce Shiga toxins, which attack the lining of blood vessels.

People tend to develop an illness 3–4 days after swallowing the bacteria.

Symptoms generally include severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Usually, people make a full recovery within 1 week.

However, at-risk individuals, including those who are very young or very old, may be ill for longer and experience worse symptoms.

In some cases, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can lead to kidney failure. However, during this outbreak, no one has developed this condition.

So far, infections have occurred in Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The CDC used epidemiologic and traceback information to identify Northfork Bison Distributions, Inc. as the source of the outbreak.

This process typically involves gathering information from several different sources. For instance, the CDC will examine the geographic distribution of the illness and look for clusters of cases. They will also physically assess food production plants, farms, and restaurants.