The Wausau Daily Herald reports that four people have become ill, including one person who was hospitalized, from E. coli after eating meat processed at Zillman Meat Market in Wausau, Wisconsin.
The Marathon County Health Department says that ready-to-eat, custom smoked meat products made from wild game processed between Sept. 30 and Nov. 13 are the only products being investigated.
Ruth Klee Marx, an epidemiologist with the health department said the market will complete a “thorough cleaning” of their facility “in the next several days.”
Pat Zillman, owner of the market, said he and his staff are fully cooperating with the health department and provided any information requested by health department officials.
No ready-to-eat products are being sold but fresh meat is still available for sale.
In a worrying poo-pooh of bacterial cross-contamination, Zillman said, “There is always an inherent risk of bacterial contaminations when you purchase fresh meat. That’s why people need to cook it properly.”
Officials recommend using a food thermometer to ensure temperatures reach 155 degrees, particularly for ground fresh meat.
That would be 160F for ground beef, 165F for chicken.
The health department is advising people to not eat smoked, ready-to-eat meat products purchased from Zillman. Hunters who brought their own meat to Zillman’s to be processed into smoked, ready-to-eat also should not eat the products.