When Shiga-toxin producing E.coli were discovered in 1977 (named verotoxigenic E. coli) and then the first outbreaks were linked to human illness in 1982 at McDonald’s in White City, Ore., and Traverse City, Mich., McDonald’s completely revamped its beef sourcing and cooking procedures.
Over the past three decades, I’ve heard everyone blame McDonald’s for everything, especially on food safety, and especially what used to be known as hamburger disease.
South Korean lawyers are apparently catching up to where North Americans were 25 years ago, but perpetuate semi-stereotypes.
According to The Korea Herald, a mother on Wednesday filed a complaint against McDonalds Korea, claiming her daughter was diagnosed with the “hamburger disease” after eating a burger with an undercooked patty in one of its outlets.
“The 4-year-old victim had no health problems, but caught hemolytic uremic syndrome after eating a McDonald’s hamburger,” lawyer Hwang Da-yeon said at a press conference held in front of the Seoul District Prosecutors Office, before submitting the complaint.
HUS is serious shit.
McDonald’s has known about it for a long time.
The complaint claims McDonald’s violated local food safety rules by serving contaminated meat that was not fully cooked.
The plaintiff also made a tearful plea, asking state prosecutors to investigate and hold McDonald’s Korea responsible for her daughter, who has suffered irreversible damage to her kidneys and must undergo eight to 10 hours of peritoneal dialysis on a daily basis.
According to the mother, the child ate a hamburger at a McDonald’s outlet in Gyeonggi Province in September and fell ill about three hours afterwards.
HUS is always tragic, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
She was brought to an intensive care unit three days later, where she was diagnosed with HUS, a food-borne disease that can cause acute kidney failure. The child was discharged from the hospital two months later, but had lost 90 percent of her kidney function.
The McDonald’s outlet denied any link between its product and the child’s illness, saying the meat is machined-cooked, eliminating human error.
I’m not sure who’s right, but Shiga-toxin producing E. coli – the kind that lead to HUS – take 2-4 days to develop – not 3 hours.
As Kate Murphy of The New York Times explained last week, when you’re fine one minute and barfing the next – what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls an acute gastrointestinal event — happens to all of us at least once a year. The bouts, while extremely unpleasant, usually don’t occasion a trip to the doctor or require any medication.
But such events tend to make us spin our gears trying to pinpoint what made us so miserably sick. While it’s hard to know for sure, there are clues that might help you determine the source and reduce your risk in the future.
“People tend to blame the last thing they ate, but it’s probably the thing before the last thing they ate,” said Dr. Deborah Fisher, a gastroenterologist and associate professor at Duke University School of Medicine.
It takes the stomach around four to six hours to empty a full meal, and then the small intestine takes about six to eight hours to squeeze out all the nutrients and empty into the colon. The remains linger there for another one to three days, fermenting and being formed into what ultimately is flushed down the toilet. So-called bowel transit time varies significantly from person to person, but gastroenterologists said you can easily find out what’s normal for you by eating corn and watching for when the indigestible kernels appear in your stool.
Gross, perhaps, but with that baseline, the next time you get sick, you’ll be better able to estimate when you might have eaten the offending meal. For example, if you throw up something and don’t have diarrhea or roiling further down, it could be that what made you ill was something you ate within the last four to six hours. If you wake up in the middle of the night with cramps and diarrhea, it’s more likely something you consumed a good 18 to 48 hours earlier, depending on the results of your corn test.
We stopped at a McDonald’s on the way home from the Glass Mountains yesterday. Quality was semi-OK, but safety was there.
(No McDonald’s money was involved in this blog post; there was no money at all; I just like to write).