Two teenagers in El Paso County are recovering from E. coli. That comes as the USDA recalls more than 194,000 pounds of beef, some of which was sold in El Paso County.
The two boys, ages 15 and 17, were hospitalized, but are now back home and expected to recover. The health department is investigating where the E. coli came from.
Both boys ate at a family barbeque, and some of the meat served there was later recalled because tests showed it was contaminated with E. coli.
Health officials say they won't be sure that meat made the boys sick, until the lab results come back.
The meat was part of a nationwide recall by a Minnesota meat packer.
The only place in El Paso County that sold it was "A Cut Above," which is a door-to-door meat distributor. The general manager, Paul Durlin, says they sell so much that the recalled product was already sold before he was notified of a problem.
Chopped beef steaks, with the establishment code 8934 and dates between May 30 and June 11 are the cuts being recalled.
Health officials say the only way to know that ground beef is safe is to cook it to 155-160 degrees and check it with a meat thermometer.
For a complete list of the recalled beef, log onto this Web site:
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What is E. Coli?
- E. coli is short for Escherichia coli.
- It is a germ that causes severe cramps and diarrhea.
- E. coli infection is more common during the summer months and in northern states.
How Do You Catch an E. Coli Infection?
- Eating undercooked ground beef (the inside is pink)
- Drinking contaminated (impure) water
- Drinking unpasteurized (raw) milk
- Working with cattle
- Healthy beef and dairy cattle may carry the E. coli germ in their intestines. The meat can get contaminated with the germ during the slaughtering process.
- The most common way to get this infection is by eating undercooked hamburgers.
- The germ can also be passed from person to person in day care centers and nursing homes.
- If you have this infection and don't wash your hands well with soap after going to the bathroom, you can give the germ to other people when you touch things, especially food.
- People who are infected with E. coli are very contagious.
Symptoms of E. Coli Infection
- Symptoms start about 7 days after you are infected with the germ.
- The first sign is severe abdominal cramps that start suddenly.
- After a few hours, watery diarrhea starts. The diarrhea causes your body to lose fluids and electrolytes (dehydration).
- The watery diarrhea lasts for about a day. Then the diarrhea changes to bright red bloody stools.
- The infection makes sores in your intestines, so the stools become bloody. Bloody diarrhea lasts for 2 to 5 days.
- You may have a mild fever or no fever. You may also have nausea or vomiting.
- If you have any of these symptoms - watery, bloody diarrhea, cramps, fever, nausea or vomiting - try to get to your doctor right away.
How to Prevent Getting E. Coli Infection
- Wash your hands carefully with soap before you start cooking.
- Cook ground beef until you see no pink anywhere.
- Don't taste small bites of raw ground beef while you're cooking.
- Don't put cooked hamburgers on a plate that had raw ground beef on it before.
- Defrost meats in the refrigerator or the microwave. Don't let meat sit on the counter to defrost.
- Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods. Use hot water and soap to wash cutting boards and dishes if raw meat and poultry have touched them.
- Don't drink raw milk.
- Keep food refrigerated or frozen. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
- Refrigerate leftovers right away or throw them away.
- People with diarrhea should wash their hands carefully and often, using hot water and soap, and washing for at least 30 seconds. People who work in day care centers and homes for the elderly should wash their hands often, too.
- In restaurants, always order hamburgers that are cooked well done so that no pink shows.
Source: http://familydoctor.org/handouts/242.html (Information From Your Family Doctor Web Site)