The United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Sunday evening that Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation is issuing an immediate recall of approximately 29,339 pounds of ground beef on fears that it may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis.
According to a news release by the agency, the FSIS was made aware of the potential contamination during the course of an ongoing investigation of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis involving 33 patients from seven states.
The recall includes 14 pound chub packages of "Grnd Beef Fine 85/15" and bears the establishment number "EST. 9400" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The meat was produced on May 25, 2012, and shipped to centers in Connecticut, Maine and New York for further distribution. The products are no longer available for purchase and the use-by date has passed, but the agency expressed concerns that the meat may still be present in consumers' freezers.
According to a notification on the Cargill website, consumers with questions may review their ground beef recall information or call the company's toll-free consumer relations line at 1-888-812-1646.
Appropriate sanitation measures include washing hands, utensils and surfaces immediately after they have come into contact with raw meat, disinfecting preparation surfaces in a solution of one tablespoon unscented liquid chlorine bleach to one gallon of water, and storing meat at a temperature below 40°F within two hours after purchase or cooking.
In addition, cooked meat should reach a temperature of at least 160°F throughout, not just on the surface.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics.
Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune symptoms should practice extreme caution, as salmonellosis may lead to severe illness or even death.