JBS Tolleson Inc., an Arizona-based meat producer, has recalled 6.5 million pounds of various raw beef products due to a salmonella outbreak. According to a CNN report, 57 cases of salmonella illness linked to this outbreak was reported in 16 states between Aug. 5 and Sept. 6. So far, 14 have been hospitalized as a result of this outbreak. No deaths have been reported. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) first got word of the possible salmonella outbreak in September. Receipts and shopper cards from eight patients eventually helped investigators identify the source of the outbreak.
Details of the Recall
The recalled products were packaged between July 26 and Sept. 7 and were sold nationwide under the brand names Wal-Mart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, and JBS Generic. The USDA inspection mark on the packaging of the recalled products contains the establishment number (EST. 267).
Federal food safety officials say they are concerned that some of these products might still be in consumers’ freezers. Those who have bought these products are urged not to consume them. They should be thrown away or returned to the point of purchase, officials said. They are also reminding consumers to cook all ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the only way to confirm that harmful bacteria are killed.
Understanding the Dangers of Salmonella
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths in the United States each year. Food is the source for about 1 million of these illnesses. Most individuals infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.
The illness usually lasts four to seven days. While some may recover without any treatment, in others, the diarrhea may be so severe that the person might need hospitalization. Young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to salmonella infections.
If You Have Been Harmed
If you or a loved one has suffered from food poisoning, it is important to understand that you have legal rights. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care. Report your illness to the local healthcare agency and contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and hold the at-fault manufacturer accountable.