Nearly 7,000 lbs Ground Beef Recalled in U.S. Due to Potentially Deadly Bacterium

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.03 - 2024 7:48 PM CET

If you were planning on eating ground beef today, you might want to have an extra look at the package.

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Valley Meats, LLC, a Coal Valley, Illinois establishment, has recalled approximately 6,768 pounds of raw ground beef products due to potential contamination with E. coli O157:H7, as announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The raw ground beef items were produced on December 22, 2023, and include various packaged products such as "ANGUS GROUND BEEF PATTIES" and "Ground Beef Patties" with specific product codes, run numbers, date codes, use-by dates, and time stamps.

These products bear the establishment number “EST. 5712” inside the USDA mark of inspection and were shipped to distributor locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan for further distribution to restaurants and other institutional users.

The contamination was discovered when samples of ground beef products tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 at a third-party laboratory.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. However, E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps, and in severe cases, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in institutional or restaurant refrigerators or freezers and urges not to serve these products. They should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS advises consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F, verified using a food thermometer. For more information or inquiries, contact details for Valley Meats, LLC, and FSIS are provided in the announcement.

FAQ: Understanding E. coli Infection

  1. What are the symptoms of an E. coli infection? E. coli infections typically cause symptoms like severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some people may also experience a low fever, usually less than 101°F/38.5°C. Symptoms usually start 3-4 days after consuming the bacteria, but they can begin as early as 1 day or as late as 10 days after exposure.

  2. What should I do if I think I have an E. coli infection? If you suspect you've contracted an E. coli infection, it's important to stay hydrated and rest. Avoid taking anti-diarrheal medication, as it can slow down the digestive system and prolong the infection. If symptoms are severe, persistent, or if you experience dehydration, bloody stools, or a high fever, seek medical attention immediately. It's also crucial to maintain good hygiene to prevent spreading the bacteria to others.

  3. How can I prevent E. coli infection from food? To prevent E. coli infection, practice safe food handling. Cook meats, especially ground beef, to a safe internal temperature of 160°F (71°C), checked with a food thermometer. Avoid raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and juices. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and ensure proper hygiene in the kitchen, including washing hands, cutting boards, and utensils after they come into contact with raw meat or poultry.

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