Beef from Popular Grocery Chains under Food Recall After 1 Death Reported
On September 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that Colorado based Cargill Meat Solutions was recalling about 132,606 pounds of ground beef products due to a possible Escherichia coli O26 contamination.
According to the USDA, the beef products involved in the food recall were produced and packaged on June 21, 2018. It is a class I contamination which means that the health hazard has a reasonable chance of causing serious health issues or death if ingested.
This is the second round of recalls for tainted beef by Cargill Meat Solutions in recent months. It was discovered by the USDA upon further investigation of Recall 072-2018, conducted on Aug. 30, 2018. The first recall involved more than two dozen ground beef products / 25,000 pounds of ground beef sold at grocery chain Publix due to possible E. coli contamination.
This new recall is for ground beef products that were sold at Meijer, Safeway and Sam’s Club locations across the United States and Target stores in California, Florida and Iowa.
The items included in the latest recall are 3-pound, 10-pound and 20-pound packages of ground beef with the following branding: Our Certified, Excel, Sterling Silver, Certified and Fire River Farms with a July 11 use or freeze by date. Visit the USDA website for the full list of recalled items. Anyone who purchased any of the products in question should immediately return them to the store for a refund and/or discard.
Effects of E. Coli contamination
E. coli contamination can develop into vomiting and diarrhea and in rare cases it can lead to a severe infection and death. According to data gathered by the USDA, the tainted beef caused 17 illnesses and one death that were reported from July 5 to 25.
A spokeswoman for Safeway and Albertson’s named Sara Osborne said Tuesday that while their stores were part of the recall, local buyers have begun buying ground beef from other sources so Western Washington stores should no longer be carrying the contaminated beef.
Check your freezers for this recalled beef and dispose of any that fits into the recall. If you are in doubt, it is safer to throw it out.
Food recall statistics
According to 2016 food recall data gathered by Food Safety Magazine for Canada and the United States, there were 764 food recalls, a 22 percent increase over 2015. The main reasons for food recalls were undeclared allergens, Listeria contamination and foreign-matter contamination.
Undeclared allergen recalls centered mostly around milk, eggs, peanuts and wheat with a total of 305 product recalls.
Listeria contamination recalls were mostly related to frozen fruit and vegetable products and included about 358 consumer products.
Foreign matter contamination recalls mostly involved products that had pieces of glass, metal, plastic, wood and rubber and accounted for about 44 product recalls.
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