The US Department of Agriculture has issued a recall for nearly 30 tons, or about 58,000 pounds, of raw ground beef due to possible E. coli contamination. American Foods Group, LLC, operating as Green Bay Dressed Beef, LLC, is the company behind the recall. The affected ground beef products were shipped to Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio. The USDA announced that the products may be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
The specific products included in the recall are as follows: approximately 80-pound cases containing 10-pound plastic tubes (chubs) of "90050 BEEF FINE GROUND 81/19" with lot code D123226026, and approximately 80-pound cases containing 10-pound plastic tubes (chubs) of "20473 BEEF HALAL FINE GROUND 73/27" with lot code D123226027. These products were produced on August 14th and were recalled the following day.
The potential contamination of the ground beef products was discovered when the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service team was informed that a sample collected by a state public health official had tested positive for the bacteria. However, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions from consuming these products.
E. coli is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in the environment, food, and the intestines of both humans and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Consuming certain strains of E. coli can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and stomach cramps, which typically last for about three to four days. While most people recover within a week, some cases can be more severe and last longer.
In addition to its association with foodborne illnesses, E. coli has also been linked to urinary tract infections (UTIs). Researchers warn that deaths caused by E. coli-related UTIs could be increasing. Professor Lance Price, director of George Washington University's Antibiotic Resistance Action Center, explained that raw meat is often contaminated with E. coli strains that can cause these infections.
To ensure the safety of consumers, the USDA advises using a meat thermometer to ensure that ground beef is cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, as this temperature is necessary to kill harmful bacteria like E. coli. It is important for distributors and customers who may have purchased these recalled products to not use or distribute them further. The USDA emphasizes that these products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
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