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Published: Thursday, 5/21/2009

Three Ohio E. coli cases prompt meat recall

BY MISTI CRANE
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

A recall of almost 96,000 pounds of ground beef products originated with three sick people in Cuyahoga County.

Valley Meats, an Illinois company, issued a recall of several brands of frozen patties today.

The Ohio Department of Health contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture with a report of three genetically linked cases of E. coli 0157:H7 in the Cleveland area earlier this month.

All three were sickened in mid-April, but do not have any connection to one another, said ODH spokesman Kristopher Weiss.

They were classified as a cluster when the genetic fingerprints of the bacteria that had infected each person matched, he said. The illnesses were then linked to products containing meat from Valley Meats.

The people who were sickened were a 3-year-old girl, a 24-year-old man and a 71-year-old man. Two of the three were hospitalized and all have since recovered, Weiss said.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration and kidney failure. Babies, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are most vulnerable.



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