The latest E. coli outbreak has hit New York and Florida hardest so far, but traces to ground bison from Canada, according to the FDA and CDC.
Northfork Bison Distributions, based in Saint-Leonard in Quebec province, recalled its Bison Ground and ground bison patties, Bison Burgers and Buffalo Burgers, produced from Feb. 22 through April 30. This includes Bison Burgers sold in four packs of 4-ounce burgers with expiration dates through Oct. 8, 2020. Return the bison patties to the store of purchase for a full refund.
The Centers for Disease Control says there have been 21 confirmed cases touching seven states: New York (nine), Florida (four), Pennsylvania (three), New Jersey (two), Michigan, Missouri and Connecticut (one each). Of those 21 cases, eight people required hospitalization. None have died.
E. coli can strike anywhere from two to eight days after ingesting the germ, but usually three to four days. The diarrhea, stomachaches and vomiting usually last about a week. In the worse cases, a form of kidney failure called “hemolytic uremic syndrome” (HUS) can develop and turn E. coli fatal.
Defending against E. coli starts with washing and sanitizing surfaces that will touch food; proper handwashing, which involves warm water and soap; and cooking meat to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).