Cargill Beef late Sunday recalled almost 30,000 pounds of 85 percent lean, fresh, ground beef, produced by the company at Wyalusing, PA on May 25, 2012. The meat may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) associated with an ongoing multiple state outbreak of SE.
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said it became aware of the the problem “during the course of an ongoing investigation of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis involving 33 case-patients from 7 states (MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VA, and VT.)” Hannaford Stores in those states have been named as a retail outlet for that meat by the FSIS.
The FSIS statement continued:
“Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Vermont Department of Health, New York State Department of Health, and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, FSIS was able to link illnesses in five case-patients to the ground beef products produced at this establishment based on epidemiologic and traceback investigations, as well as in-store reviews.
“Illness onset dates among these five case-patients ranged from June 6, 2012 to June 13, 2012. Two of the five case-patients were hospitalized. Leftover product with no packaging information collected during the course of this investigation by the Vermont Department of Health tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis with the outbreak strain. This outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis is drug sensitive, meaning antibiotics can be effective in treating patients who need them. FSIS is continuing to work with CDC and public health partners on the investigation.”
Sold at wholesale in 14 pound chub packages, packed 3 chubs to approximately 42 pound cases, it is thought the beef was repackaged for sale to the public by Cargill’s customers.
“Food borne illnesses are unfortunate and we are sorry for anyone who became sick from eating ground beef we may have produced,” stated John Keating, Cargill Beef president. “Ensuring our beef products are safe is our highest priority and an investigation is underway to determine the source of Salmonella in the animals we purchased for harvest and any actions necessary to prevent this from recurring.”
Cargill is contacting its customers to make certain they know which of their ground beef products are affected by this recall. Consumers are urged to return any opened or unopened packages of listed ground beef to retailers. Cargill is working closely with its customers to make certain as much of the product is retrieved as possible.
Cargill Beef is a unit of Cargill Meat Solutions, based in Wichita, KS. It in turn it owned by Cargill Inc., the international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services employs 139,000 people in 65 countries.
And, a few past Cargill Salmonella outbreaks:
136 Ill – Cargill Meat Solutions Ground Turkey 2011
2 Ill – Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef November, 2009
68 Ill – Beef Packers, Inc., Cargill, Ground Beef June, 2009
47 Ill – Emmpak/Cargill Ground Beef January, 2002