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E. coli recall draws attention to dangerous strain

Kentucky is an interesting place to live. In some respects, it's beautiful and has a lot of fresh, open areas. In other places, cities are tight and congested. No matter where you travel in the state, one thing you'll find is the possibility of recalls.

One such recall happened just a few days ago on June 11 when Kroger recalled beef products sold throughout the state. The company announced that it had several beef products that it believed had been contaminated with E. coli. As a result, some beef products sold throughout northern Kentucky were recalled.

For the most part, the recall affected people in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, region including Northern Kentucky (Covington and Florence), Dayton, Ohio, and southeastern Indiana.

The recalled products included boneless ribeye steaks and bone-in ribeye steaks that were sold between April 23 and June 7. Consumers have been advised to avoid eating the foods that are labeled "BEEF GROUND ST FP" and "BEEF GROUND ST 1#," as well as any bone-in ribeye or boneless ribeye steaks.

The good news about this recall is that there haven't been any reports of people falling ill.

Why is E. coli so dangerous?

In and of itself, E. coli isn't very dangerous. It's naturally found inside the intestines of many animals and humans. However, there are strains that can lead to severe food poisoning, which can be so dangerous that people have died.

E. coli, or Escherichia coli, has many harmless forms, but several forms are known to cause severe diarrhea and vomiting. E. coli can also lead to pneumonia and urinary tract infections in some people.

The E. coli that makes you sick could be producing a toxin known as Shiga. Shiga attacks the lining of your intestines. There is one strain, O157:H7, that is particularly dangerous. This strain can cause cramping, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and more. It has the potential to cause life-threatening conditions such as kidney failure, bleeding, confusion, seizures and fevers.

Ground meat is a particularly common source of E. coli because the meat can come from more than one animal, and there is a higher likelihood of contamination from the animals' intestines. It's also possible to get E. coli from tainted water, unpasteurized fruit juice or milk, fruits and vegetables.

If you develop food poisoning, don't take any risks. Seek medical care, especially if you have the severe symptoms that have been listed above.

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