More than 6.5 million pounds of ground beef is being recalled nationwide on fears of Salmonella contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday.
Arizona-based JBS Tolleson, Inc., issued the recall for various raw, non-intact beef products that may be contaminated. Those products include ground beef packaged on various dates from July 26, 2018, to Sept. 7, 2018. The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations and institutions nationwide.
The recalled products may have been sold under the following brands: Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Showcase/Walmart and JBS Generic.
The recall comes after several cases of illness were reported, and investigators were able to use eight customer store receipts to connect the illnesses to ground beef products, all originating with the Arizona producer.
Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most-common foodborne illnesses. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, which appear within 12 to 72 hours of eating the contaminated food. The illness can last as much as a week, and most people get better without seeking medical treatment. But it can be serious for older people, infants and people with compromised immune systems.
The government is worried that some of the contaminated beef may be in consumers’ freezers. USDA recommends that customers either throw the beef away or return it to the place of purchase.
To guard against illness from eating any ground beef products, the government recommends only eating ground meat that’s been cooked to 160 degrees, while other cuts should be cooked to 145 degrees. Using a food thermometer is the only way to accurately gauge food temperatures.
Thursday’s recall is the second serious ground beef recall in the last month. In late September, a Colorado company recalled ground beef that had been contaminated with E. coli. That recall included meat that may have been sold in Oregon Target stores.
— Grant Butler