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CDC: 40 Sick in Multistate Salmonella Ground Beef Outbreak

Forty people in eight states have now been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis from ground beef, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

The number of victims in the outbreak is up from 33 people in 7 states as of July 23. According to CDC, the states with reported illnesses are Maine (1), Massachusetts (3), New Hampshire (2), New York (18), Rhode Island (2), Vermont (11), Virginia (2), and West Virginia (1). Of the known victims, 11 have been hospitalized and none have died.

CDC said that a multi-agency investigation has implicated ground beef produced by Cargill Meat Solutions at a single production facility is the likely source of this outbreak. On July 22, Cargill Meat Solutions recalled 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef.

Though it’s likely most of the recalled meat has been consumed, health officials are urging consumers to check their refrigerators and freezers for any meat that might remain.

Since some of the ground beef was repackaged into consumer-sized packages sold at retail, consumers should visit the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service website to view the list of stores that carried the beef, which may not bear the EST. 9400 mark.

After the company’s recall, Cargill Beef’s president John Keating said he was “sorry or anyone who became sick from eating ground beef we may have produced.”

“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,” said Keating.

Cargill has said it does not test for Salmonella Enteritidis in beef: “This particular strain of Salmonella Enteritidis in beef has not been linked to a public health problem before, and no validated test for it in fresh beef is commercially available.”

Salmonella is not considered an adulterant in meat or poultry products, and Salmonella-contaminated product is generally not recalled unless products are tied to illnesses.

© Food Safety News
  • husna aijaz

    Cargill is the nation’s top meat producers, so the consumer can be assured of effective control measures to combat another recall like this.
    Just a thought:
    A number of scientific studies have shown interventional decontamination techniques as an effective remediation measure to inhibit the growth of microbes during post-slaughter, packaging and distribution.
    In a study done by Hoyle and others (2009), adding LAB to ground beef and using a traditional overwrap were effective as processing interventions against Salmonella.
    The following articles might be helpful for the meat industry:
    Hoyle AR, Brooks JC, Thompson LD, Palmore W, Stephens TP, Brashears
    MM. 2009. Spoilage and safety characteristics of ground beef treated with
    lactic acid bacteria. J Food Prot 72: 2278–83.
    Hoyle Parks AR, Brashears MM, Martin JN, Woerner WD, Thompson LD,
    Brooks JC. 2012. Shelf-life and stability traits of traditionally and modified
    atmosphere-packaged ground beef patties treated with lactic acid bacteria,
    rosemary oleoresin, or both prior to retail display. Meat Sci 90:20–7.

  • Jen

    Give that ground beef to me. I will cook it properly and enjoy salmonella-free meat.

  • Cargill certainly does have their share of recalls!

  • Minkpuppy

    Considering Cargill’s track record on recalls, I would not have confidence that they will come up with effective measures to prevent it in the future.
    It’s painfully obvious to me that the corporate food safety philosophy is not trickling down to the individual processing plants. What actually goes on at the plants is often a very different story than what they tell they bosses in corporate.
    Jen: Whether you like it or not, meat companies do have a responsibility to do everything in their power to reduce pathogens in ground beef. 100% elimination of pathogens in raw ground beef may not be achievable but a lot can be done to reduce the pathogen loads before it leaves the plants. Why shouldn’t the plants do everything in their power to accomplish that?
    It’s not just for their benefit, it’s good for you also. Someday your meat thermometer might break and you’ll have to guess whether or not that burger is done. Wouldn’t you like that little extra reassurance that you won’t get sick if you undercook it a bit?
    Dumping all the responsibility on the consumer to cook it properly is a cop-out. Food safety is EVERYONE’S responsibility, from the farmers working their butts off to raise healthy animals to send to the packers who have to harvest those animals in a sanitary manner, and all the way down to educating the person grilling that burger.
    As a food safety inspector, I applaud ALL efforts to make meat safer and I don’t blame the victims when those efforts fail.

  • Cam

    To me the safest way to eat hamburger is to have a steak ground up. I usually see that steaks are cheaper, when on sale, than hamburgers. Top round, london broil are steaks that are lean.

  • Good morning,
    I agree with Minkpuppy…when implementing a food safety management systems, more specifically HACCP. Cargill is responsible for doing the the following with their products:
    1. Have processes in place to prevent the biological hazard from even happening.
    2. Eliminate the biological hazard
    3. Or reduce the biological hazard to a safe level.