SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has issued a public health alert due to an undetermined amount of ground beef product prepared under custom exemption that may be contaminated with NON-O157 Shiga tox-prd E.Coli (STEC), a bacteria commonly known as “e coli”. IDOA said the product was prepared at a Type II Establishment (custom exempt), David B’s Custom Meats, located in Carlinville in Macoupin County at the beginning of 2020 to current.

Custom exempt meat products are not inspected and cannot be offered for sale; because of this, a recall of the affected product was not requested.

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Despite this, IDOA is concerned that some of the affected product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have obtained the above-described products should not consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of origin.

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The problem was discovered when a resident of Macoupin County notified local public health officials about sickness after consuming ground beef. The sample collected from the remaining product tested positive for presence of NON-O157 Shiga tox-producing E.coli.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps for 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume raw ground beef product that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. The only way to confirm that frozen raw ground beef products are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

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