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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 081-07
Monday, October 1, 2007

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MEDIA: (212) 788-5290
Sara Markt (smarkt@health.nyc.gov)
Sheryl Tirol-Goodwin (stirolgo@health.nyc.gov)


NEW YORKERS SHOULD DISCARD ALL TOPPS HAMBURGERS

Health Department Is Investigating Two Possible Cases of E. Coli Connected to Multi-State Recall

NEW YORK CITY – October 1, 2007 – The Health Department is urging New Yorkers to throw away any Topps ground beef hamburgers due to possible E. coli contamination.  Topps, the manufacturer, has recalled this product in several states including New York. If contaminated meat is consumed, the contaminating microbe – E. coli 0157:H7 – can cause severe diarrhea, as well as kidney damage or even death. The latest recall information from the USDA is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/040_2007_Expanded_Recall.pdf

The New York City Health Department is investigating two possible illnesses related to this recall. The patients – a Staten Island girl and her mother – both consumed Topps hamburger, but neither case has been definitively linked to the meat through laboratory testing. The girl has been diagnosed with E. coli infection; the mother’s illness is still under investigation. To date, there are seven confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 in New York State and 25 nationwide, in association with this recall.

The Health Department is working actively with doctors and labs to identify and investigate potential E. coli cases. As a precaution, the agency advises anyone who has consumed Topps hamburgers and develops symptoms such as severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps, or blood in the stool, to contact a health care provider immediately.

As a reminder, New Yorkers can help prevent E. coli, by cooking meat thoroughly (at least 160º F for ground beef), keeping raw meats and their juices away from other foods when cooking, and washing hands regularly.

For more information on E. coli, please see http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/cd/cdecoli.shtml.

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