E. coli Contaminated Ground Beef Recalled in Utah

ground beef recallAnother E. Coli outbreak has plagued the United States food industry. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) (http://www.fsis.usda.gov) announced on October 22, 2012, that it had issued a Class I recall for contaminated ground beef product. A Class I recall carries a high-level risk rating for consumer health.

The ground beef in question was processed by Main Street Quality Meats, which is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The product was produced on October 18 and October 19, 2012, and was sold in two package sizes. First, 10-pound boxes that were labeled as “GROUND BEEF BULK,” and additionally, 12-pound boxes labeled as “GROUND BEEF PATTIES.” A total of approximately 2,310 pounds of ground beef products have been affected.

The USDA, upon routine inspection of the facility, discovered the problem. Sample meat product at the plant tested positive for E. coli. However, some product was shipped before the company received the positive test results. The meat was distributed to restaurants in Utah.

The USDA does perform routine monitoring of recall actions to be sure manufacturers are properly able to warn the public, including restaurants, of unsafe food products.

E.coli Risk for Certain Populations

The E. coli bacteria can potentially become deadly, but most often causes flu-like symptoms. Symptoms can range from diarrhea to dehydration. Very severe cases can even cause kidney failure. Those with weakened immune systems, children and the elderly are most at risk for contracting a food-borne illness such as E. coli.

So far there have been no reports of illness from consumers who have consumed the contaminated ground beef.

The USDA stresses to all consumers the importance of safely preparing and cooking all raw meats, both frozen and fresh. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any raw meat product including beef, pork and chicken. Clean all surfaces which have been touched by raw meat immediately with hot water or cool water and soap.

Ground beef is safe to consume after it has been cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F. Bacteria that may cause illness will be killed at this temperature. Ensuring the meat is at the proper, safe temperature requires a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the meat.

Consumers who suspect that they have become sick because of consuming E. coli tainted food should contact their physician immediately.