If the USDA’s New Year’s resolution was to recall less meat, they’ve already fallen off the wagon. It’s happened to the best of us, and when it’s in the name of public safety, I can’t blame them. In the last 12 hours, the USDA announced a recall of more than 28,000 pounds of ground beef. Oregon-based Interstate Meat Distributors is recalling approximately 28,356 pounds of ground beef products (give or take) that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, which refers to a particularly nasty strain of E. coli.
The raw ground beef was produced on December 20, 2021 and was distributed to retail locations including Albertsons, Kroger, Walmart, and WinCo in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
The foodborne pathogen was discovered after a random sample of ground beef was submitted to a third-party laboratory for microbiological analysis and the sample tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) conducted their own assessment of the lab’s test and found that the results were valid. So how do you know if you may have contaminated beef? "The products subject to recall bear establishment number 'EST. 965' inside the USDA mark of inspection or printed next to the time stamp and use or freeze by date," according to a statement from the FSIS. Currently, the USDA and FSIS are urging anyone who may have contaminated ground beef in their refrigerator or freezer to discard it immediately, or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
Symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) are not cute. They range from severe stomach cramps to diarrhea (often bloody) to vomiting to a mild fever. Most people who are infected with E. coli poisoning get better within 5 to 7 days, but some cases are severe and may be life-threatening.
Now that your ground beef is out of the fridge, what will you cook instead this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!
This article has been updated to provide even more details about the ground beef recall.
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