If you are planning to throw some beef on the grill Memorial Day weekend, there’s a new recall you need to know about.
On May 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that Aurora Packing Company, Inc., is recalling approximately 62,112 pounds of raw beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
There are multiple cuts of beef included in the recall, including short ribs, ribeyes, and briskets, according to a list of products on the USDA site. It follows a March 27 recall, in which the company pulled back more than 2 tons of beef, also because of an E. coli risk.
Here are the products that have been recalled.
Check your refrigerator and freezer if you have recently purchased beef to ensure you do not consume or serve contaminated meat. This recall falls under USDA Class I, which means “This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
Here are additional details from the USDA’s recall notice:
The raw beef products were packaged on April 19, 2019. This spreadsheet contains a list of the products subject to recall.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 788” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped nationwide for further distribution and processing.
The problem was discovered during traceback activities in response to random sample testing by FSIS. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. (source)
This strain of E. coli can cause life-threatening complications.
It is important to understand that the type of E. coli that is suspected of contaminating the recalled products is a particularly dangerous strain called E. coli O157:H7, which is also known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STEC for short:
Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider. E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately. (source)
Infection with E. coli is usually not treated with antibiotics because they have not been shown to be helpful, and their use may increase the risk of developing HUS. Treatment usually consists of hydration and other supportive therapy. Use of anti-diarrheal medications may also increase the risk of HUS.
The symptoms of STEC infections vary but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If fever is present, it usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/less than 38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening, according to the CDC.
The incubation period for STEC infection (time between ingesting the bacteria and feeling sick) is usually 3-4 days after exposure, but may be as short as 1 day or as long as 10 days. The onset of symptoms usually begins slowly with mild belly pain or non-bloody diarrhea that worsens over several days. When HUS, if it occurs, it typically develops an average 7 days after the first symptoms, when the diarrhea is improving.
There are several other active E. coli recalls.
On April 23, K2D Foods (doing business as Colorado Premium Foods) recalled approximately 113,424 pounds of raw beef products for possible E. coli contamination. The next day, Grant Park Packingannounced it was recalling approximately 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef for the same reason.
The Aldi grocery chain has issued a recall of all-purpose flour made by the Archer Daniels Midland Co. Tests have shown some of the flour is contaminated with E. coli. Rhode Island officials warned the public to throw out 5-pound bags of Baker’s Corner flour with the lot code L18A02B and a best-by date of Dec. 2, 2019.