Friday, May 24, 2024

USDA Issues Health Alert for E. coli in Ground Beef Across National Retailers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has released a health advisory concerning possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination in ground beef distributed by Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc. Consumers are cautioned against consuming the affected products, which are currently under a public health alert but not formally recalled.

In an effort to protect public health, FSIS has alerted consumers about potentially contaminated ground beef items. These products were identified with establishment number “EST. 960A” and marked with a “Use/Freeze by” date of April 22, 2024. Initially produced on March 28, 2024, and packaged under the code “032824,” these items were distributed nationwide to various food service locations and retailers.

The discovery of E. coli O157:H7 was made during a routine product inventory check which revealed that a batch of beef, originally withheld due to contamination concerns, was inadvertently processed into ground beef and entered into commercial distribution. Fortunately, no illnesses have been reported thus far.

FSIS has expressed concern over the possibility that some of these ground beef products may still reside in freezers at homes and food establishments. They are strongly advising that these products be discarded or returned to the point of purchase. Furthermore, FSIS recommends that all raw beef be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, verified by a food thermometer, to ensure safety from harmful bacteria (details available at FSIS Safe Cooking Chart).

For individuals who may have consumed the implicated products and are experiencing symptoms indicative of E. coli infection such as severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps, immediate medical consultation is advised. E. coli can escalate to more severe complications like hemolytic uremic syndrome, particularly in vulnerable groups including young children and the elderly.

Consumers seeking more information or having specific inquiries can reach out to Gina Adami, a representative of Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc., at the provided contact details.

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