Massachusetts E.Coli Case Linked To Ground Beef
State health authorities announced today that another E. coli case linked to ground beef has been identified in a Massachusetts resident, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the state to seven (7).
Public health interviews with affected individuals revealed that they ate ground beef products from Whole Foods Markets during the month of July.
Based on this information the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is advising consumers not to eat any fresh ground beef product purchased at Whole Foods Market between June 2nd and August 6th. This includes ground beef and ground beef patties from the meat counter as well as from the prepackaged meat cooler. Any remaining product should be thrown out. Consumers are also advised to check their freezers for ground beef products they may have purchased last month and frozen.
Officials from the supermarket chain have cooperated with staff from DPH during the agency’s investigation to determine the source of the contamination. Preliminary findings suggest that ground beef products that were previously identified as part of a nationwide recall may have entered the retail supply at Whole Foods during June and July.
Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the extension of a national recall for ground beef produced by Nebraska Beef, Ltd. due to possible E. coli contamination. Nebraska Beef produces products under the Coleman brand name, and a review of records from Whole Foods indicates that some of the stores received product from the recall list. At this time, it is not known why the food listed under the USDA recall was sold to the public after the recall date.
DPH, USDA and Whole Foods are continuing to investigate the outbreak and will provide additional information as it becomes available. Whole Foods has removed from their stores all ground beef product from Nebraska Beef as a precautionary measure.