After discovering a potential association with a product that tested positive for E. Coli, Cargill Meat Solutions (CO) recalled just over 25,000 pounds of ground beef on August 23rd.
The United States Department of Agriculture has deemed this a Class I recall with a high health risk, urging people to check the labels of their ground beef products, looking for those that were produced and packed on August 16, 2018 and have “EST. 86R” as their “establishment number…inside the USDA mark of inspection.” These 10-pound packages of chub, 93/7 ground beef have a use/freeze by date of September 5th.
Cargill Meat Solutions discovered the potential contamination on August 22nd and notified the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)…so far, there have been no reported illnesses, but symptoms can occur 2-8 days after exposure to the organism. Causing dehydration, cramps, and/or (bloody) diarrhea, this potentially life-threatening bacteria is particularly severe for very young people, the elderly and pregnant women.
While there have been no reported cases as of yet, the fear is that, if packages and establishment numbers are not checked right away, the product could end up left in the freezer for several months and then consumed at a later date. Since it can take several days after exposure to become symptomatic, it is then harder to pinpoint what the exact cause was. The FSIS urges consumers of raw meat to be vigilant about cooking temperatures and to use an internal thermometer that can accurately gauge meat temperatures, ensuring that any harmful bacteria in the meat is killed and the meat is safe to eat.
Those who purchased this product are urged to throw it away or return it to the place of purchase, and any other questions can be directed to AskKaren.gov or the USDA Meat and Poultry hotline (1-888-674-6854).