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. A list of packages associated with the recall can be found on USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service website. “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

  • Jen

    Cook your meat to the proper temperatures and handle it appropriately. End of story. No need for recalls if people would follow basic guidelines.

  • JT

    Obviously Cargill has intractable industrial production problems and can’t be trusted — but they don’t need to worry, like the Big Banks business is guaranteed safe = Too Big To Fail.

  • jay herman

    …..ok, thanks for the info. i’ll want to make sure that the companies that repacked the burger that Cargill sent them don’t contaminate it again……….insofar as you have already concluded that it was contaminated at Cargills plant,with the most sophisticated food safety controls on the planet, and not at some little wholesaler in podunk New York. Really appreciate the heads up on this. It’s kind of fun knowing your journalistic skills included bacteria counts and petri dish micro counts. Good job……I’m sure there’s a place for you at the New York Times (are they still in business ??).

  • dulce

    Yea Jen, no reason to hold Cargill accountable to produce safe untainted meat products.

  • Jen, you have got to be kidding.
    Seriously, you have got to be kidding.

  • Ben Mark

    How you handle ground beef before you cook them to kill salmoella. Some strains need already a temperature of 300+. Are you cooking your fingers too? You can’t wash the salmonella off your hands. What you think how dummy we consumers are. You take the right to put contaminated food into the supply chain and blame the consumer for getting sick. Where are you coming from?

  • Joanie

    Of course — Brilliant!!!
    It’s the CONSUMERS job to protect themselves from contamination — in their kitchens and on their cutting boards — the Big Bucks Producers who sell them this toxic food are Not Responsible — and Not Accountable — it’s the Big Food Way!
    Of course if contaminated food gets traced back to a smaller scale producer — then FDA is all over them and they quickly and easily get forced out of business. Meanwhile, even caught red-handed, Big Food not only stays in business to contaminate another day with barely a wrist slap — and laugh all the way to the bank.

  • I see Cargill is on this recall list again… This is the fifth time! It’s time to either put them out of business or slap them with a HUGE fine that would make them think 14 times about ever doing it again.

  • Jen

    Nope, I’m not kidding. This is not a product meant to eat raw, and I assumed people were smart enough to know that raw meat needs to be cooked to destroy pathogens. Yes, pathogens introduced in processing, but if it were guaranteed to be pathogen free, there wouldn’t be SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS on every package! And yes, you CAN wash salmonella off your hands, and off your utensils and cutting boards. Soap, scrub. It is not a super monster bacteria. And if you fear that the salmonella is still on your kitchen utensils and whatnot, because you are paranoid, sanitize it with a bit of bleach. This is not rocket science, and I am tired of consumers not being responsible for their own actions. We are not talking about produce that is “ready-to-eat”.
    Send me the meat and I will cook it and enjoy it without getting salmonellosis.

  • Ben Mark

    Jen, I’m getting tired of people putting contaminated food into the supply chain, killing people or at least making them sick and blaming the consumer for wrong doing. Only what we do wrong is buying food from filthy places, because all the inspectors are blind or have no time for proper inspections. You are going to tell us consumers, Cargill has the right to put contaminated meat on the market over and over again and their only responsibility is to put a safe handling instruction on the package. How about test and hold before shipping!? That would be the company’s responsibility.
    BTW I’m using Colloidal Silver to wash everything from lettuce to meat as I’m tired of getting sick all the time. Like most of the people I never eat raw meat. My stuff has to fall off the bone after it’s cooked. That’s one reason I stay away from restaurants. But what ever we do in the kitchen, YOU and no one has the right to sell contaminated food. When someone shoots with a gun and injures or kills people he gets prosecuted, when someone injures or kills people with contaminated food knowingly or because of carelessness in order to make more money isn’t where is the difference. If you are 5 feet under the earth you don’t care is it because of a bullet or contaminated food.
    The companies should be fined and made to pay all healthcare cost for all sickened people until they are healty.

  • Why is it always called an outbreak? It’s not like the plague or the flu, where the company has little to no control over things. It should be called a contamination. It’s not like the meat “tainted” itself: The company contaminated the meat and then sold it to customers in seven states. That would be more accurate.