Deadly Ground Beef Recall Comes With 'High' Health Risk Warning

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Cargill Meat is recalling 132,600 pounds of beef products nationwide that may be contaminated with E. coli.

On the top of the recall announcement issued this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) are these words: "Health Risk: High."

And with good reason. Cargill Meat Solutions is recalling approximately 132,606 pounds of ground beef products potentially contaminated with the pesky Escherichia coli O26.

So far, the outbreak has been responsible for one death and 17 illnesses with onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018. The ground beef items were produced and packaged on June 21, 2018 – but FSIS is worried that there may be more that has been frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

E. coli O26 is a serotype of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. It takes between two and eight days to become ill after exposure to the organism, though three to four days is the average. Symptoms include diarrhea (commonly bloody) and vomiting. While most people recover within a week, occasionally some people may develop a more severe infection. Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, is common with E. coli O26, says FSIS; symptoms for this include easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

The recalled products bear establishment number “EST. 86R” within the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide. (See products here; view labels here):

Lat month, a Cargill Meat plant in Colorado recalled more than 25,000 pounds of ground beef that could have been contaminated with E. Coli O26 as well. That means more than 150,000 pounds of meat gone to waste in a month .... at a point in time when we're wasting food at shameful rates. It speaks to a seriously broken food system where factory farming gives rise to modern illnesses – like E. coli – that get spread across the country due to the ways in which meat is processed on an industrial scale. It's sad for the cattle, sad for the environment, and sad for the people who get sick from eating contaminated meat. If you buy ground beef, check your freezer to make sure yours is ok. And then consider buying locally from smaller producers in the future.

Via Quartz