The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) advises Rhode Islanders that the South Shore Meat packing plant in Brockton has initiated a voluntary recall on certain ground beef products based on confirmed laboratory evidence of the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in leftover ground beef samples obtained from Camp Bournedale in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The ground beef was tested by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) after more than 20 students and chaperones from Lincoln Middle School became ill.
USDA is investigating what lot codes are involved at this time and will be updating their website with detailed information on a regular basis. HEALTH continues to work with MDPH and federal partners to determine if any other products are involved with this recall and where the product(s) were distributed. HEALTH reminds people to eat only ground beef that has been cooked so that the internal temperature of the meat is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly cooking the meat kills any bacteria that may be present. E. coli O157:H7 is a type of bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, the elderly and persons with weakened immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Anyone with these symptoms, especially anyone who was on the field trip with Lincoln Middle School, should call their doctor for evaluation and treatment. For more information on E. coli, visit http://www.health.ri.gov/communicable/ecoli.php