Company recalls ground beef due to salmonella scare

Product RecallsDiseases and IllnessesU.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionEconomy, Business and FinanceFood IndustryU.S. Department of Agriculture

Approximately 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products is being recalled by Cargill Meat Solutions because of possible Salmonella Enteritidis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made this announcement on behalf of the Wyalusing, Pennsylvania establishment on Sunday.

The 14 pound chub packages of “Grind Beef Fine 85/15,” packaged 3 chubs to approximate 42-pound cases with the establishment number “EST. 9400” inside the USDA mark of inspection is the product being recalled.

Although the use by date has passed, the company and FSIS are concerned that some of the packages may be frozen.

The products were produced on May 25, 2012 and were shipped to be sent out by distribution centers in Connecticut, Maine and New York.

The ground beef was repackaged into consumer size packages and sold under different retail brand names. These names will be revealed on the FSIS associated website.

FSIS became aware of the problem when an ongoing investigation of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis involving 33 case-patients from seven states.

FSIS’ work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Vermont Department of Health, New York State Department of Health and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets found that five case patients’ illnesses were linked to the ground beef products produced at Cargill Meat Solutions based on epidemiologic and trace back investigations and in-store reviews.

The five patients’ illness onset dates are between June 6, 2012 to June 13, 2012. Two of those patients were hospitalized.

The Vermont Department of Health found that leftover product with no packaging information collected during the investigation did have Salmonella Enteritidis with the outbreak strain. Patients who come in contact with the Salmonella Enteritidis can be treated with antibiotics because the outbreak strain is drug sensitive.

One of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses, salmonellosis, can develop with the consumption of food containing Salmonella.

Those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, persons with HIV infection or those undergoing chemotherapy are most susceptible to contracting salmonella infections. Within 12 to 72 hours, some of the most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Other symptoms include chills, headaches, nausea and vomiting, which can last up to seven days.

Those with concerns are advised to contact their health care provider.

FSIS wants everyone to eat their raw meat products in a safe manner. They suggest to only eating ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature that is high enough to kill harmful bacteria. The only way to ensure that the meat has been cooked to such a temperature is to use a food thermometer. 

The investigation involving the FSIS, CDC and public health partners is still continuing.

Consumers who have questions are urged to call the company’s consumer information line at (888) 812-1646.

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