30,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled for Possible Contamination

30,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled for Possible Contamination
FILE—A worker at a meat packing facility monitoring ground beef as it passes through a machine that makes hamburger patties in San Francisco, Calif., on June 24, 2008. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A nationwide recall of ground beef was issued March 2, over possible contamination.

The beef chubs were produced by Washington state-based Washington Beef because the products may be contaminated with extraneous materials, the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in an alert.

Ground beef chubs are packages of ground beef stored in tube-like, easy-to-store packaging.

The ground beef was produced on Dec. 27, 2018, and packed on Jan. 22. The chubs have a “Use or Freeze by” date of 1/20/19 and an establishment number of “EST. 235” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products were shipped nationwide.

NTD Photo
Ground beef chubs sold under the St. Helens brand name and produced by Washington Beef was part of a nationwide recall due to contamination concerns. (USDA)
NTD Photo
Ground beef chubs sold under the Double R Ranch brand name and produced by Washington Beef was part of a nationwide recall due to contamination concerns, on March 2, 2019. (USDA)

While Washington Beef produced the chubs, they were sold under a range of brand names, including Double R Ranch, St. Helens, and SRF. The full list is available here (pdf).

The problem was discovered after a consumer sent a complaint to the company on Feb. 28, 2019.

According to the service, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions from people who ate the beef.

Anyone who still has the beef should throw it out or return it to the store they purchased the chub or chubs from.

Anyone with questions about the recall can call Jay Theiler, vice president of marketing at Washington Beef, at (855) 472-6455.

worker at a meat processing facility
A worker monitors a meat grinding machine at a meat processing plant in Yakima, Wash., on Dec. 29, 2003. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ground Beef Recall

The recall comes several months after millions of pounds of ground beef was recalled by the Department of Agriculture.

Some 5.1 million pounds were added to an earlier recall of some 7 million pounds.

The recall was due to possible contamination by salmonella, which can lead to sickness and, in some cases, death.

An investigation into a salmonella outbreak spawned by the beef found that 246 patients became sick across 25 states, with no confirmed deaths.

“Consumption of food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment,” the department stated.

salmonella outbreak prompts ground beef recall
Illustration of Salmonella bacteria. (CDC)

“In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider,” the department added.

The beef was produced by JBS Tolleson, an Arizona-based company, and sold under a range of brand names.

The department’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to make sure companies that issue recalls alert customers. In addition, companies must take steps to try to get the affected products out of stores and people’s homes.

The service noted that no raw meat products are safe. “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 degrees Fahrenheit. Other cuts of beef should be cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit and allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes. The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature,” it stated.