Memorial Day weekend is here and that means it will be time to kick off the unofficial start of summer with a barbecue. But before you grill, be sure to check out the packaging on your ground beef, as a food recall has impacted over 62,000 pounds of raw beef products. The US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced a recall of 62,112 pounds of raw beef products from the Aurora Packing Company out of North Aurora, Illinois due to possible E.coli contamination. The raw meat was packaged on April 19, 2019.
While there are no reported cases of anyone becoming sick as a result of consuming the possibly contaminated meat, there is a concern that many of these products are in consumer’s freezers, so it will be important for people to check labels on any products produced by the Aurora Packing Company. FSIS has declared this a “Class I Recall” which means, “This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
E.coli is a very harmful bacteria that, when ingested, may cause significant digestive issues, including abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and dehydration. It is particularly harmful to children under the age of 5 and for older adults. Seek medical attention if you think you may have consumed these products or are showing any signs of sickness due to contaminated food.
Consumers are encouraged to throw away any of these products or to return them to the original place of purchase. FSIS also reminds consumers on safe practices for cooking raw meat products, and to use a cooking thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 165°F in order to kill off any harmful bacteria in the meat.
Contact information for Aurora Packing and for FSIS is also included in this announcement: “Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact David Stewart, Director of Sales and Marketing for Aurora Packing Company, Inc., at (630) 897-0551.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.”