Bison meat from Canada blamed for US outbreak of E. coli illnesses


Ground meat supplied as Bison Burgers and/or Buffalo Burgers is responsible for 21 cases of shigatoxin-producing E. coli infections in seven US states according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The outbreak includes infections due to two different serotypes of shigatoxin-producting E. coli. Six of the victims were infected with E. coli O103, 13 with E. coli O121. Two victims were infected with both outbreak strains.

Eight individuals have been hospitalized. No cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) have been reported.

Confirmed cases are reported in Connecticut (1), Florida (4), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (2), New York (9), and Pennsylvania (3).

The source of the outbreak has been traced through epidemiology and traceback activities to ground bison meat supplied by Northfork Bison Distributions Inc. of St.-Léonard, Québec (Canada).

The company is recalling its ground bison, referred to as Bison Ground, and its ground bison patties, referred to as Bison Burgers and/or Buffalo Burgers, produced between February 22 and April 30, 2019, according to the US Food and Drug Adminsitration (FDA).

Recalled ground bison was sold to distributors as ground bison and bison patties, referred to as Bison Burgers and/or Buffalo Burgers. Recalled ground bison was also sold to retailers in 4-ounce burger patties.

The bison patties were sold to retailers in 4 x 4-ounce blue boxes under the Northfork Bison label with expiration dates up to October 8, 2020.

A formal recall notice has not been posted on the FDA website as of this evening.

Northfork also has initiated a recall of several products distributed across Canada, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), including:

  • Natural Frontier Foods brand Bison – ground meat (280g; UPC 6 76842 00147 7; Expiry codes EXP 190311, EXP 190314, EXP 190315, EXP 190316, EXP 190317, EXP 190318)
  • Sensations brand Extra Lean Ground Bison (280g; UPC 6 23682 11159 0; Expiry codes EXP 190311, EXP 190314, EXP 190315, EXP 190316, EXP 190317, EXP 190318)
  • La Terre des Bisons brand Bison ground (lean) (1.5 lb; UPC 96768420002598; Packed on 19-02-22, 19-02-25, 19-02-26, 19-02-27, 19-02-28, 19-03-01)
  • Northfork Canadian Bison Ranch brand Bison ground regular (1.25 kg; UPC 86768420002577; Packed on 19-02-22, 19-02-25, 19-02-26, 19-02-27, 19-02-28, 19-03-01)
  • Northfork Canadian Bison Ranch brand Bison ground regular (4.54 kg /10 lb; UPC 86768420002263; Packed on 19-02-22, 19-02-25, 19-02-26, 19-02-27, 19-02-28, 19-03-01)
  • Northfork Canadian Bison Ranch brand Bison ground 10 lbs regular (10 lb; UPC 96768420111061; Packed on 19-02-22, 19-02-25, 19-02-26, 19-02-27, 19-02-28, 19-03-01)
  • Northfork Canadian Bison Ranch brand Bison ground 1 lb regular (0.45 kg / 1 lb; UPC 96768420111054; Packed on 19-02-22, 19-02-25, 19-02-26, 19-02-27, 19-02-28, 19-03-01)
  • Northfork Canadian Bison Ranch brand Bison Burger 20 x 8oz (2 lb; UPC 96768420111092; Packed on 19-02-22, 19-02-25, 19-02-26, 19-02-27, 19-02-28, 19-03-01)
  • Northfork Canadian Bison Ranch brand Bison Burger 4oz x 4 (1 lb; UPC 96768420111184; Packed on 19-02-22, 19-02-25, 19-02-26, 19-02-27, 19-02-28, 19-03-01)

There have been no reported illnesses in Canada associated with the recalled items.

CDC offers the following advice to consumers, restaurants, and retailers

  • Consumers should not eat, and restaurants and retailers should not sell or serve, recalled ground bison products.
  • 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. Even if some of the recalled patties have been eaten and no one got sick, do not eat them.
    • Wash and sanitize places where recalled ground bison products were stored: countertops and refrigerator drawers or shelves. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
    • When ordering at a restaurant, ask that ground bison burgers be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F.
  • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell recalled ground bison and should check freezers and storage for recalled products. Restaurants and retailers should check with their supplier to determine if their ground bison has been recalled.

 

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