E.Coli beef rejections in Germany

The rejection of at least nine chilled beef containers produced by a major Argentine packer, found to be contaminated with E.Coli 157, has spiced up the trade gossip at a particularly tense time of year. A routine health and safety check in a Hamburg restaurant first identified the potentially fatal strain or E.coli 157.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an enterohemorrhagic strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli and a cause of food-borne illness, transmission is via the fecal-oral route and most illnesses have been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef, drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated vegetables

Last year in Germany 48 people died of this very same bug which was traced to imported beansprouts, the same strain was and  banned in Ground beef by the USDA in 1994 . The bacterium can be destroyed  by heating up to 75 C and as such meat is highly unlikely to be a risk if cooked correctly.

The trade is concerned that the EU veterinary authority may decide to take drastic action to eliminate this potential danger.