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Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Leads to Ground Beef Recall

A two-state Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak sickening seven that was caused by consumption of raw ground beef at a Macomb County, Mich., restaurant has now led to a ground beef recall by a Michigan retail meat market.

Jouni Meats Inc. in Sterling Heights late Thursday recalled about 500 pounds of ground beef products for possible Salmonella Typhimurium contamination.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said the retail meat market sold ground beef in various size packages. The recalled ground beef was produced between Dec. 4 and Dec. 9, 2012 and was sold to the Macomb County restaurant and directly to consumers.

It was packaged for sale without labels.

The recall stems from the investigation into illnesses originating at the restaurant.

Working in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Community Health, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Arizona Department of Health Services, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FSIS determined that there is a link between the ground beef products from Jouni Meats, Inc. and this illness cluster.

Based on epidemiologic and trace back investigations, seven case-patients with the same outbreak strain have been identified in Arizona and Michigan with illness onset dates ranging from December 9, 2012, to December 13, 2012.

FSIS did not say how the Arizona patients came to consume the Michigan ground beef.

Those sickened consumed raw beef kibbeh on December 7, 2012, and December 8, 2012. Kibbeh is an Arab dish made of bulghur, minced onions and ground red meat, usually beef, lamb or goat.

It is not known at this time if this outbreak strain has any drug resistance; results are pending. FSIS is continuing to work with public health partners and CDC on this investigation. FSIS will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks (including at restaurants) to ensure that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or those undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. These symptoms usually appear within 12 to 72 hours of infection. Additional symptoms may include chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.

FSIS advises all consumers 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.

© Food Safety News
  • johnmunsell

    USDA’s press release doesn’t state whether this retail meat market maintained a grinding log or not.  A grinding log would document the SOURCE of all meat ground, every day.  A thorough grinding log provides enormous benefits to public health, as it would reveal the origin of contaminated meat.  It would also benefit the meat market, because in the absence of a grinding log, gov authorities will throw the book at the meat market for allegedly being noncompliant with sanitation protocol.

    Last month, USDA stated it would suggest protocol which would require retail meat markets to maintain grinding logs.  Admittedly, such logs are time consuming and increase expenses.  But, the implementation of such logs is inevitable, and will eventually benefit the retail meat markets which are being victimized by their legal purchase from outside source slaughter providers of USDA-Inspected and Passed meat which is laced with invisible pathogens. 

    John Munsell