Another Manufacturer Joins Ground Beef Recall

Beef May Be Contaminated With Same E. Coli Strain That Has Made 177 People Sick

Image courtesy Saloca, Wikimedia Commons.

Another manufacturer has announced a recall of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O103, the same infection that has made 177 people in 10 states ill, including more than 65 people in Kentucky.

K2D Foods, doing business as Colorado Premium Foods, in Carrollton, Georgia, recalled icon approximately 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef products on April 23, 2019.

The recalled beef was sold in two 24-pound vacuum-packed packages in cardboard boxes containing raw “Ground Beef Puck” with use through dates of 4/14/19, 4/17/19, 4/20/19, 4/23/19, 4/28/19 and 4/30/19. The recalled products are labeled with establishment number “EST. 51308” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

This recall comes on top of an earlier one announced by Grant Park Packing of Franklin Park, Illinois, who recalled approximately 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103.

At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak. Further analysis will need to be conducted, federal officials say.

State and federal agencies—including the FDA, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kentucky Department for Public Health—have been investigating the outbreak for most of April. The investigation has been hindered in part because many clinical laboratories do not test for strains of E. coli such as O103, which is harder to identify than other strains.

Authorities are concerned that some product may be in refrigerators or freezers of restaurants. Restaurants that have purchased these products are urged not to serve them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

People can become ill from 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after exposure. Most people infected  develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended.

Most people recover within a week, but, rarely, some develop a more severe infection. Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, is uncommon, but it can occur in people of any age. However, it is most common in children under 5 years old, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

Consumers are advised to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Ashley Barnes, customer service director of Colorado Premium Foods at (970) 313-4400 or Darrin Bosell, manager of Grant Park Packing, at (312) 421-4096.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the Food Safety and Inspection Service virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

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