The food safety division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published an updated list of retailers that received Cargill ground beef products potentially contaminated with E. coli.
The list includes Target stores across the country, as well as Aldi stores in the Midwest, including Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Other chains involved in the recall include: FoodMaxx, Meijer, Pak N Save, Publix, Safeway/Albertson’s, Sam’s Club, and Vons.
The complete list can be found here.
Cargill ground beef: 17 ill, 1 dead
Both the USDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have pinpointed contaminated Cargill ground beef as the probable source of a nationwide E. coli outbreak in which one person is dead and 17 others were sickened.
All 18 cases occurred in July across four states: Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. The CDC reports that most of the cases resulted from contaminated Cargill ground beef products purchased from Publix supermarkets in Florida.
The outbreak spurred Cargill Meat Solutions – a division of Minnesota-based Cargill Inc. – to issue a recall of more than 132,000 pounds of ground beef products packaged in Fort Morgan, CO.
Cargill ground beef: throw it out
Consumers are urged to check their freezers and throw out the potentially contaminated Cargill ground beef. The products bear establishment number “EST. 86R” inside the USDA mark of inspection; here is the complete list of recalled products (view labels here):
- 3-pound chubs of “OUR CERTIFIED 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a USE OR FREEZE BY JUL/11/18 and case code 00228749002653.
- 10-pound chubs of “EXCEL 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749089098.
- 10-pound chubs of “EXCEL 73/27 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749002751.
- 10-pound chubs of “EXCEL 81/19 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749003536.
- 10-pound chubs of “EXCEL GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749003568.
- 10-pound chubs of “EXCEL CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749402773.
- 20-pound chubs of “EXCEL 81/19 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF COMBO” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749073935.
- 10-pound chubs of “Sterling Silver CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 00228749702416.
- 10-pound chubs of “CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 and case code 90028749802405.
- 10-pound chubs of “CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF CHUCK GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a Use/Frz. By Jul 11 with case code 00228749802413.
- 10-pound chubs of “Fire River Farms CLASSIC GROUND BEEF 81/19 FINE GRIND” with a USE/FREEZE BY: 07/11/2018 with case code 90734730297241.
Cargill ground beef: the timeline
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was notified Aug. 16 of an investigation of E. coli O26 illnesses. The FSIS, CDC, and various state departments subsequently determined that ground beef was the probable source, and an epidemiological investigation established that the 18 cases had onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25.
The Cargill ground beef products were identified after further investigation related to Recall 072-2018, conducted on Aug. 30. In that recall, Cargill ground beef products were recalled in connection with the E. coli O26 outbreak. The FSIS’ traceback data indicated that patients ate Cargill ground beef purchased at various retail stores.
Cargill ground beef: E. coli O26
E. coli O26, like the more common E. coli O157:H7, is a serovar of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). People can become ill from a STEC infection anywhere from two to 8 days after exposure to the pathogen (the average is three to four days).
Most people infected with STEC O26 develop diarrhea – which can become bloody – and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe.
Infection is diagnosed using the test of a stool sample. Rehydration and other care is the usual treatment; antibiotics generally are not recommended.
Cargill ground beef: complication
Most people who have contracted a STEC O26 infection recover within a week, but some develop a more severe infection: hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure.
HUS can occur in anyone, but it is most common in the very young and the very old, as well as anyone with a weakened immune system. The disease generally produces bruising, an unhealthy pale appearance (pallor), and decreased urine output.
If you or your child experiences these symptoms, you should seek emergency medical care immediately.