According to the Vancouver Sun, the parents of three-year-old Hillary Nelson, who has been on dialysis in BC Children’s Hospital for more than a week after eating a meal contaminated by E. coli bacteria, have issued a warning about the danger of cross-contamination from packaged meat.
Brad and Cheryl Nelson are cautioning others that the E. coli bacteria that caused their daughter’s kidneys to shut down completely may have come from a leaking package of bloody meat.
“We want other parents to know that eating undercooked meat isn’t the only way to contract E. coli,” they said. “Most people don’t realize that you an pick up E. coli through cross-contamination by handling a meat package with blood on it, or on a surface someone who has handled a leaky meat package has then touched afterwards, like the handle of a shopping cart.”
They are calling on the grocery industry to use packaging that does not allow blood to escape from meat, and called for further microanalysis of meat prior to packaging.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency warns consumers to always cook ground meat to an internal temperature of 71 degrees Celsius and if a utensil has cut raw meats, to not use the same utensil on your fresh produce. They also remind consumers to wash your hands regularly after handling raw meats.