An Arizona-based beef company has recalled over 6.5 million pounds of meat over concerns that it could be potentially contaminated with salmonella. The contaminated products are marked with the establishment number EST.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising consumers and retailers not to eat, serve or sell ground beef produced by JBS Tolleson and to check food storage and freezers for the recalled products.
The recall is the largest ever for salmonella-tainted beef, according to former USDA microbiologist Carl Custer, who discussed the announcement with Food Safety News. Some of the products have a sell or use by date in late September.
The USDA is anxious that some of the beef is already in consumers' freezers.
Customers who purchased the recalled products should not consume them, but discard them or return them to the place of purchase.
As of October 4, 2018, 57 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 16 states. Later that day, he began to experience symptoms of severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea. No deaths have been reported. The patient age range is from less than one year to 88.
The raw beef was shipped nationwide to retail locations. Sixty-one percent are male. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.
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In May, the company recalled nearly 35,500 pounds of raw ground beef processed through its Lenoir, North Carolina, plant after a consumer found bits of blue hard plastic in the meat, which JBS had produced for grocery chain Kroger Co, according to the USDA. Several patients ate ground beef at the same events or purchased ground beef from the same grocery store chains.
In interviews, 92% of the 39 people investigators questioned said they ate ground beef at home before they got sick.