grilled chickenApproximately 180,000 pounds of ready-to-eat products that contain chicken will be recalled by a gourmet food company in Richmond, California. This is following a high E. coli contamination risk announced by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The USDA further added that the potentially contaminated food products had been shipped by Glass Onion Catering to distribution centers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Utah and Texas. It emphasized the fact that the products that had been shipped to the mentioned states with “P-34221” as inspection marks were potentially contaminated. The specific E. coli responsible for the contamination is E. coli 0157:H7.

The contaminated products, produced within 23rd September to 6th November have caused 15 illnesses so far. The USDA has given a stern warning for the products that have the mentioned inspection mark to be removed and destroyed to eliminate the risk of contracting a fatal infection. E. coli 0157:H7 is not only dangerous, but it is also potentially fatal. It can lead to bloody diarrhea, dehydration, as well as abdominal cramps two to eight days following exposure. While majority of those infected may recover within seven days, there are some who may develop a form of kidney failure referred to as hemolytic uremic syndrome. This may affect older adults or children below the age of five.

The monitoring of E. coli 0157:H7 clusters by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) started on 29th October 2013, and on 6th November, the FDA was notified. This is after cases of patient becoming sick due to E. coli contamination were reported by the California authorities. A probe that was conducted by FSIS determined that the illnesses were as a result of consuming contaminated grilled chicken.