E. coli O157:H7 in ravioli spurs FSIS to issue public health alert


USDA’s  Food Safety and Inspection Service  is out with a public health alert because about 70 pounds of raw beef ravioli products, produced by Philadelphia’s P&S Ravioli Co., may be contaminated with E. coli O157: H7.

A recall was not requested because the affected product is no longer available for purchase.

However, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products should not consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

The frozen, raw ground beef ravioli items were produced on April 30. The following product is subject to the public health alert:

  • 13-ounce boxes containing “P&S RAVIOLI COMPANY 12 JUMBO MEAT RAVIOLI” with a use-by date of 11/30/2020 and lot code 20121.

The recalled products have the establishment number “EST. 2736”printed inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to a limited number of retail locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The problem was discovered when P&S Ravioli Co. was notified by their third-party laboratory that a sample of the product was positive for E. coli O157:H7. Products associated with the sample had already been shipped into commerce. The establishment notified FSIS of the sampling results and subsequently controlled all products remaining for sale.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions because of consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume a raw ground beef product that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees F. The only way to confirm that frozen raw ground beef ravioli products are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

About E. coli infections
Anyone who has eaten any of the implicated product and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about their possible exposure to the bacteria. Specific tests are required to diagnose the infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some patients may also have a fever. Most patients recover within five to seven days. Others can develop severe or life-threatening symptoms and complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening kidney failure complication, known as a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor.

Many people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent injuries or death. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children younger than five years old because of their immature immune systems, older adults because of deteriorating immune systems, and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients.

People who experience HUS symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical care. People with HUS will likely be hospitalized because the condition can cause other serious and ongoing problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, brain damage, and neurologic problems.

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