Ontario Investigates Four Cases Of E. Coli O157:H7 Associated With Leadbetters Cowboy Beef Burgers
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is investigating four cases of E. coli O157:H7 associated with Leadbetters Cowboy Beef Burgers.
Although the investigation is ongoing, all four individuals reported eating Leadbetters Cowboy Beef Burgers from 4oz/20 pack boxes between August 12 and August 21. The genetic fingerprint of the E. coli O157:H7 is identical in all four cases. These individuals are from three different health units. The ministry is aware of a Canadian Food Inspection Agency recall of Leadbetters Cowboy Beef Burgers in 2.27 Kg (5 lb) cartons containing 20 X 113.5gr (4oz) burgers bearing the UPC 8 73587 00003 5 and code 20169.
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, is advising people who have purchased this brand of frozen burgers with this lot code to not eat the product and to discard the product as it may contain E. coli.
Individuals who develop symptoms of E. coli infection after consuming Leadbetters Cowboy Beef Burgers should seek medical attention and if they have any product remaining they should contact their local public health unit for further assistance.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is investigating the illnesses in conjunction with local health units, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and will continue to monitor all reports of illness in Ontario for any possible links to this investigation.
- Symptoms of E. coli illness include stomach cramps and diarrhea (possibly bloody).
- E. coli illness sometimes leads to a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure. Children are at particular risk for developing HUS.
- People typically become ill 2 to 5 days after eating contaminated food.
- Transmission occurs most frequently by ingestion of contaminated food, such as undercooked beef and unpasteurized milk.
- Ontario has approximately 300 cases of E. coli each year.
“If anyone is experiencing symptoms of E. coli, they should seek medical assistance as soon as possible and alert their health care provider to the possibility of E. coli infection. People also need to remember to properly handle and prepare food.”
Dr. Arlene King