Tyson Fresh Meats of Dakota City, Nebraska, is recalling 16,000 pounds of ground beef that were shipped to a New York distribution center because the meat may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, according to an announcement on June 3rd from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is a Class I recall in which “there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) first discovered the problem during a routine sampling and no illnesses have been reported yet. However, public health officials are concerned that some of the meat may have already been sold to consumers who are storing it in their freezers.
The ground beef was produced on May 16, 2015 and bears the establishment number “EST. 245C” inside the USDA mark of inspection and a “best before or freeze by” date of June 5, 2015. The packages come in 5 lb. chubs of “80% Lean Ground Beef.”
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly foodborne bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and abdominal cramps, usually 3 to 4 days after ingesting contaminated food. Most people recover within a week. However, some individuals develop a severe kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). While HUS may occur in persons of any age, it is most prevalent in children under 5 years of age and in older adults. Typical symptoms include difficulty urinating, easy bruising, and pallor. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical care.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, both fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef and pork that has been cooked to an internal of temperature of 160° F. Whole or ground poultry should be heated to 170° F, egg dishes to 160° F, and whole cuts of beef should be at 145° F for at least 3 minutes. The only way to confirm that meat is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.
Updates on this recall can be found here.
More information on E. Coli 0157: H7 can be found here.
Consumers with questions can reach Tyson Fresh Meats consumer hotline at (866) 328-3156.