26 ill after eating E. coli-infected meat
PARIS, Nov 2 (AFP) - A total of 26 people, most of them young children, have been taken seriously ill in France after eating a batch of frozen minced meat contaminated with E. coli bacteria, health officials said Wednesday.
The toll was a up from the 18 cases first counted when the problem came to light on Monday, and officials fear others may yet become sick.
The French health ministry’s Health Observatory Institute said 13 children aged under nine had been affected by a potentially fatal complication linked to E. coli infection known as hemolytic uremic syndrome — a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail.
Twelve were receiving hospital treatment which included dialysis while one had been released.
Another 11 children and two adults had sought treatment for severe gastroenteritis and bloody diarrhoea.
The contaminated meat, under the brand Repere Chantegrill, was sold in Leclerc supermarkets in France and exported to other EU countries.
E. coli, or Escherichia coli, is a bacteria found in cows’ stomachs that can live on in undercooked beef.
The Leclerc chain said it had contacted 95 percent of consumers who had bought the meat to warn them not to eat it.
Subject: French news