The Food and Drug Administration is telling people not to eat ground bison products linked to an outbreak of E. coli.

The FDA is reporting a recall of ground bison and patties imported from Canada from Northfork Bison Distributions.

The CDC and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are investigating an outbreak of E. coli O121 and E. coli O103 illnesses in Pennsylvania six other states.

Health officials say the outbreak is likely linked to ground bison supplied by Northfork Bison Distributions Inc. of Saint-Leonard, Québec, Canada.

There have been 21 illnesses and eight hospitalizations associated with the outbreak.

Distributors, retailers, and restaurants are being told not to distribute, use or serve ground bison recalled by Northfork Bison Distributions Inc.

The recall involves Bison Ground, and ground bison patties referred to as Bison Burgers and/or Buffalo Burgers, produced between February 22, 2019, and April 30, 2019.

Consumers should not eat products prepared using recalled ground bison (including bison burgers) sold under the Northfork Bison label including Bison Burgers sold to retailers in 4 x 4-ounce packages with expiration dates through October 8, 2020.

E.coli are mostly harmless bacteria that live in the intestines of people and animals and contribute to intestinal health. However, eating or drinking food or water contaminated with certain types of E. coli can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal illness. Some types of pathogenic (illness-causing) E. coli, such as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), can be life-threatening.

People infected with pathogenic E. coli can start to notice symptoms anywhere from a few days after consuming contaminated food or as much as nine days later. Generally, the symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting.

The severity or presence of certain symptoms may depend on the type of pathogenic E. coli causing the infection. Some infections can cause severe bloody diarrhea and lead to life-threatening conditions, such as a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), or the development of high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and neurologic problems. Other infections may have no symptoms or may resolve without medical treatment within five to seven days.

Due to the range in severity of illness, people should consult their health care provider if they suspect that they have developed symptoms that resemble a(n) E. coli infection., including HUS, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill.

People of any age can become infected with pathogenic E. coli. Children under the age of 5 years, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness as a result of an E. coli infection. However, even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill.