So far, there are 22 confirmed cases of E. Coli that has been diagnosed in New Jersey. Two children, who were infected, are seriously ill, and developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can permanently damage the kidneys.

There have also been cases of E. Coli outbreaks in Long Island, of at least a dozen people.

According to Associated Press E. Coli is:

bacteria found in the feces of humans and livestock. However, certain strains can cause abdominal cramps, fever, bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, blindness, paralysis, even death.

Most E. coli infections are associated with undercooked meat.

According to Forbes:

Twenty-two of those infected, including two restaurant employees who tested positive for E. coli but did not get sick, ate at a Taco Bell in South Plainfield; another ate at a Taco Bell in Edison, and one ate at a Taco Bell in Franklin Township, authorities said.

The managers of the some of the restaurants have closed their doors until the investigation is complete.

This news comes as a bit of a warning, since the movie, “Fast Food Nation” started playing in theaters, about this very subject.

According to an interview with Eric Schlosser, the author of the book, “Fast Food Nation”, in the NY Times, he talks about the industrialization of our meat industry and how it increases our risk to E. Coli:

These jobs (meat packing) remain dangerous, though, and to help fill them at least one big meat packer operates a labor office in the capital of Mexico and a bus line from that country to the American Midwest. The factory-like process that turns livestock into hamburgers — which Schlosser describes in sometimes harrowing detail — means that ”a single fast-food hamburger now contains meat from dozens or even hundreds of different cattle.”

Schlosser argues that because of all this there is a greater risk than is generally understood of being made sick or even killed by a strain of E. coli in a fast-food burger.

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