Beef Products Recalled due to Possible E. coli O26 Contamination

The Recall

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS-USDA ) announced that Good Food Concepts, LLC., a Colorado Springs, Colorado recalled 1,290 pounds of raw beef products, processed Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, 2017, due to potential contamination with E. coli O26.
The contamination was discovered on Aug 5, 2017, by the company who had notified the FSIS inspection.  A lot of carcasses received from Callicrate Ranch on July 31, 2017, were found to be contaminated with STEC (Shiga toxin producing E. coli) E. coli O26.
Good Food Concepts company and FSIS are concerned that some beef may have been frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

Pathogenic E. coli

The most prevalent strain of E. coli causing recalls and illnesses is E. coli O157:H7. However, there are seven serotypes of E. coli that cause most of the food recalls and diseases, called the Top 7. They include: in addition to O157:H7 also O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145.

E. coli O26

In the recent past, E. coli O26 resulted in several recalls and illnesses.  E. coli O26 is one of the six most common strains of non-O157 E. coli found to cause foodborne illnesses. 
It is difficult to identify in the laboratory the O26, in particular by the new rapid methods, because most laboratories are looking specifically for E. coli O157:H7. However, it is a pathogenic strain that caused disease. E. coli STEC O26 shows that the extensive genetic diversity and pathogenic clonal subgroups can emerge soon.

Disease Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin two to eight days after exposure. People infected with O26 often develop bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week. However, some patients can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS. Children and older people, with suppressed immune systems, are more susceptible to HUS.

Recall due to E. coli O26 by Costco in Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced a few days ago that Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. recalled Gold Coast brand Broccettes – Broccoli Florettes due to possible E. coli O26 contamination. The products had been sold in British Columbia, but no illnesses were reported in association with these commodities.

Previous Recalls Due to E. coli

E. coli O26 and O21were found in flour from General Mills. The FDA investigation identified General Mills flour as the source of this outbreak which led to a voluntary recall in May 2016. On September 29, 2016, the CDC reported (https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2016/o121-06-16/index.html) that 63 people were infected with the outbreak strains of E. coli O121 and O26 in 24 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 21, 2015, to September 5, 2016. Seventeen ill people were hospitalized, and one person developed the hemolytic-uremic syndrome.

Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O26 Infections Linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill Restaurants

The FDA  and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with state and local officials investigated two separate outbreaks of E. coli O26 infections. Both were linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states
The CDC reports indicated that as of January 27, 2016, a total of 55 people had been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O26. Eleven states were involved: California (3), Delaware (1), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (3), Oregon (13), Pennsylvania (2), and Washington (27). There have been 21 reported hospitalizations. The majority of these cases were reported from Oregon and Washington during October 2015.
Chipotle Mexican Grill closed 43 restaurants in Washington and Oregon in early November 2015 in response to the initial outbreak. 

National Meat and Provisions Recalls Beef and Veal Products Due To Possible E. Coli O26 Contamination

The FSIS-USDA announced the recall of approximately 2,349 pounds of beef and veal products that may have been contaminated with E. coli O26, on Oct. 14, 2016. The products were shipped to a distributor, as well as hotels, restaurants, and other institutions in Louisiana.