Barely a week before Memorial Day, which marks the beginning of the summer grilling season, an Illinois company has issued a food safety recall for more than 62,000 pounds of beef due to potential E. coli contamination. According to a report on Fox News, Aurora Packing Company shipped the affected products nationwide. The recall is in response to random sample testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). The affected products were packaged on April 19 and bear an establishment number of “EST. 788.”
This recall comes amid an E. coli outbreak that has sickened nearly 200 people across 10 states. Of those who were sickened, 28 have been hospitalized with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linking the illness to ground beef from several sources. In addition to this recall, Illinois-based Grant Park Packing recalled 53, 200 pounds of raw ground beef products and Georgia-based Colorado Premium Food recalled 113,424 pounds of the product.
USDA has asked consumers to throw away the recalled products and use proper safety measures while handling and cooking meat. E. coli infections lead to severe symptoms including bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps. They could also cause a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS that could result in kidney failure and death.
Protecting Against Illnesses
With Memorial Day just round the corner, it is important that proper safety steps are taken especially when it comes to cooking, handling and storing meat. Here are a few safety tips to prevent food poisoning during the holiday weekend:
- Make sure all utensils, cutting boards and equipment are washed with soap and warm water.
- Be sure to thorough cook your ground beef. Because E. coli bacteria are killed at 155 degrees Fahrenheit, the USDA sets the minimum safe temperature for ground beef at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of your meats when you prepare them.
- Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within two days; other beef, veal, lamb, or pork, within three to five days.
- To maintain quality when freezing meat and poultry in its original package, wrap the package again with foil or plastic wrap that is recommended for the freezer.
If you have been sickened by food products, get immediate medical attention and care. Contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer who can help you seek and obtain compensation for your injuries, damages and losses.