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If you have any ground beef in your refrigerator or freezer, there are three serious alerts you need to know about.
The first is an expanding E. coli outbreak.
Here’s an overview from Food Safety News:
Ground beef, consumed at home or in restaurants, and possibly purchased in large packages from grocery stores just might be the source of the now six-state E. coli O103 outbreak, according to CDC.
In an update of its last report just three days earlier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta shared its preliminary epidemiologic information that implicates ground beef for infecting at least 109 people. (source)
So far, seventeen people have been hospitalized, reports the CDC. No cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have been reported, and no deaths have been reported.
Traceback investigations are being conducted to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurant locations where infected people ate. Currently, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified.
As of April 12, cases have been reported in Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.
CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid eating ground beef at this time. Consumers and restaurants should handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly to avoid foodborne illness.
At this time, CDC is not recommending that retailers stop serving or selling ground beef. (source)
For guidelines on how to safely handle and cook raw beef, please see the CDC’s instructions here: Outbreak of E. coli Infections.
Symptoms of E. coli O103 include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting, and usually lasts 5-7 days. Some people who are infected also develop a fever. People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 3–4 days after drinking or eating something that contains the bacteria, but illness can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after infection. Some people with a STEC infection may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The CDC referred to the outbreak as a “rapidly evolving investigation”. We will update this article with new information as it is made available.
In an unrelated outbreak that was announced at the end of March, Aurora Packing Company, Inc. recalled approximately 4,838 pounds of beef heel and chuck tender products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
Earlier this month, AdvancePierre Foods recalled more than 20,000 pounds of frozen beef patties for possible plastic contamination:
AdvancePierre Foods is voluntarily recalling 20,373 pounds of Tenderbroil Patties CN Fully Cooked Flamebroiled Beef Patties. The recall is limited to food service customers, and affected products are not available for purchase in retail stores. No other AdvancePierre Foods products are affected.
Two consumers reported they found pieces of soft purple plastic in the product. Even though these reports involved only two items, out of an abundance of caution, the company is recalling 1,449 cases of product. AdvancePierre Foods has received no reports of injuries or illnesses associated with the affected product.
The product was produced at one plant location on November 30, 2018. Each 14.06-pound case contains three bags with 30 pieces each, and bears the establishment code 2260E, a date code of EN83340303 and case code 155-525-0.
This product was sent to distribution centers in the following states: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. (source)
The recall includes approximately 43,292 pounds of ground beef that were produced on March 2, 2019. The affected beef has an establishment number of EST. 562M inside the USDA mark of inspection or printed on the bottom of the package label. The contaminated ground beef was shipped to retail locations throughout Michigan and Wisconsin. (source)
The recalled beef includes:
Consumers are urged to check their freezers for the recalled ground beef. It should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. It should not be consumed.
Last Friday, Denver Processing LLC recalled approximately 13,865 pounds of raw pork and beef products that were produced without the benefit of federal inspection and outside inspection hours, reports Food Safety News:
The recalled products bear the establishment number “EST. 6250” within the USDA mark of inspection on the case label and directly outside of the USDA mark of inspection on the product label. These items were shipped to retail locations in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. (source)
For a full list of products Denver Processing is recalling, please click here: Denver Processing recalls port and beef that went without inspection
Will you be checking your freezer for these products? Please share your thoughts in the comments.