Supermarket chain Colruyt has issued a recall notice for cooked roast beef, fresh beef and prepared products containing ground beef after the discovery of the bacterium E. coli, Belga reports. The products have already been withdrawn from Colruyt’s shelves. Customers who recently bought any of the products concerned are advised to return them to the store for a refund.
The infection was discovered during an internal inspection at supplier Viande De Liège. In conjunction with the federal food safety agency, the supplier immediately pulled its products from sale.
Escherichia coli is a bacterium found in the intestines of animals and humans, and is in most cases harmless. However it can enter the human food chain during the slaughter of meat animals, causing food poisoning that can range in gravity from an attack of diarrhoea to an infection that can be life-threatening in vulnerable groups including children, pregnant women and the elderly. Symptoms can take up to ten days to appear, and can vary from stomach upsets to urinary tract infections and pneumonia.
The strain of the bacterium involved in Colruyt’s case is E. coli STEC.
The supermarket chain has released a long list of the products withdrawn from sale, not all of which are necessarily dangerous. They include minced beef and beef/pork mince, hamburger, beef olives, roast beef, sausages, steak and more. Customers can check purchases on the telephone number 02 345 2345, quoting the article number and expiry date. If in doubt, meat products can be returned to the store for a refund. If products have been consumed in the meantime, consult a doctor only if symptoms occur.