The US Department of Agriculture has announced the recall of over 28,000 pounds of ground beef over E. coli concerns. The recall affects beef products distributed by Clackamas, Oregon-based Interstate Meat Dist. Inc. The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the action on Thursday.
An independent lab brought the matter to the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s attention after it tested a retail package of Interstate Meat’s ground beef. The lab’s test indicated that the sample tested positive for the bacteria strain E. coli. The FSIS reviewed the lab’s claims and found their methodology sound enough to act on.
The FSIS announced the recall on Thursday, which covers ground beef products produced by Interstate Meat on December 20. Affected products share the establishment code EST. 965, which can be found on the label near the USDA inspection mark. On some packages, the establishment code is near the “best by” or “freeze by” date.
The affected beef products were sold by retailers in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Some retailers that sold the items include Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Albertsons.
The FSIS notes that Interstate Meats packaged the recalled beef products almost three weeks ago. That means many customers might not realize that they’ve purchased potentially contaminated meat. Customers in the western US should check their freezers for recalled products with the code EST. 965.
The authorities discourage customers who have purchased affected products from consuming them. Customers should discard the recalled items or return them to the location where they bought them. If you still have your receipt, you can seek a refund for the affected products.
E. coli is a bacteria strain that can cause illness in humans. Harmful E. coli strains can cause noticeable symptoms, including abdominal cramps, dehydration, headaches, and diarrhea. In extreme cases, E. coli infections can lead to kidney failure. Young children and older adults are susceptible to extreme cases, though they can occur in people of any age.
Kidney failure will result in symptoms including pale skin, bruising, and difficulty urinating. If you or someone in your family experiences these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Authorities encourage customers only to consume meat products that have been cooked to a temperature exceeding 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, harmful bacteria could persist in the meat, which could cause illness even in otherwise healthy adults.