Sick students trigger recall

BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts health officials say a Brockton meat company has voluntarily recalled beef products after more than 20 school children and adults from Rhode Island were sickened by E. coli.

Department of Public Health spokeswoman Jennifer Manley said on Monday, Oct. 26, that South Shore Meat Co. recalled ground beef and other products after tests showed the presence of E. coli in leftover beef samples.

Those sickened include two sixth-graders from Lincoln Middle School who were hospitalized after consuming contaminated meat during a field trip to a Plymouth boys' summer camp from Oct. 13 to 16.

Massachusetts officials say tests showed the ground beef collected at the camp is the same strain of E. coli confirmed in two of the children.

E. coli can cause serious illness in young children, the elderly or those with a compromised immune system.

Taiwan lifts ban on US bone

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwan says it will lift a ban on imports of a range of U.S. "beef in bone" products including Porterhouse steak.

In its Friday, Oct. 23, announcement, the Health Department said all imported beef products will have to carry a label of approval from the U.S. Agriculture Department. Only meat products from cows age 30 months or younger that are approved by certified veterinarians can be imported.

Taiwan previously banned all U.S. beef containing bone, considering certain bones as carrying a higher risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Joint disease drill conducted

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Trucks that could be hauling livestock along the Kansas and Oklahoma border were detained and their drivers questioned Oct. 22 during a drill aimed at protecting the nation's food supply from foot-and-mouth disease.

State and local authorities set up roadblocks and pulled livestock vehicles over near Sitka, Kan., and Turpin, Okla., to ask questions about their loads and destination. It was part of what officials said was the first two-state exercise to halt the movement of livestock should the disease break out.

The exercise came two days after final congressional approval of the first $32 million in funds for planning and construction for a proposed lab that would research foot-and-mouth and other animal diseases at Kansas State University in Manhattan. The 520,000-square-foot National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility would replace an aging lab on Plum Island, N.Y.

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