Children sick after visiting pumpkin patch

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MPR News reports that three children who visited Dehn's Pumpkins in Dayton, Minnesota have been sickened by E. coli bacteria. One of the children is hospitalized with serious complications.

The state health department says it is following up with other people who visited the farm, and that the farm is cooperating fully with the investigation. So far, two other people have reported symptoms consistent with E. coli.

KARE 11 reports the victims got sick after visiting the farm about two weeks ago. The three children who got sick range in age from 15 months to 7- years-old.

Symptoms of E. coli include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea with a low-grade or no fever. Health department officials say anyone who has visited Dehn's Pumpkins since October 12 and has developed symptoms of E. coli infection should contact their doctor immediately. The state health department website has more information on the E. coli bacteria.

The warning comes three days after news that ground beef sold at Costco may be contaminated.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended that customers of the Coon Rapids Costco check their freezers for potentially tainted beef.

According to a department news release, close to 400 packages of 88 percent “lean fresh ground beef” that were sold directly to 342 consumers at the bulk discount retailer between Sept. 4 and Sept. 7 may be contaminated with a dangerous strain of E. coli.

The product’s Costco item number is 33724.

The department was notified of an E. coli illness last week after someone in Minnesota became sick late last month. An investigation conducted with the Minnesota’ agriculture and health departments determined there is a link to the ground beef.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is working to identify the source of the bacteria.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps within a week, about 3-4 days on average, after consumption.

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