62,000 Pounds of Raw Meat Recalled Over Possible Contamination Just Days Before Memorial Day

By Zachary Stieber

Tens of thousands of pounds of raw meat were recalled over possible contamination just days before Memorial Day.

Some 62,112 pounds of raw beef products were recalled due to possible E. coli contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said on May 22.

The meat was shipped nationwide.

It was packaged on April 19 by Illinois-based Aurora Packing Company.

All of the products subject to recall have the establishment number “EST. 788” inside the department’s mark of inspection.

A label of one of the recalled products. (USDA)

“The problem was discovered during traceback activities in response to random sample testing by FSIS. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products,” the department stated.

The health risk was classified as “high.”

Anyone with the products should throw them out or return them for a refund. In addition, the department warned people to make sure they prepare raw meat properly and only eat meat that has been cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

A full list of the products was not provided other than a list of labels (pdf) from the products.

The products included beef neck bones, ribs, and brisket.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact David Stewart, director of Sales and Marketing for Aurora Packing Company, Inc., at (630) 897-0551.

E. coli bacteria
A colorized scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli, or E. coli, grown in culture and adhered to a cover slip, in an undated file photo. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

E. Coli Outbreak

The recall comes amid an E. coli outbreak across multiple states.

So far, 196 cases have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-eight of those have been hospitalized and two cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, have been reported.

The cases have been confirmed in 10 states.

“Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that ground beef is the likely source of this outbreak. Ill people in this outbreak report eating ground beef at home and in restaurants,” the CDC stated. “Laboratory testing identified the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 in a sample of ground beef collected from a location where ill people reported eating in Tennessee. Traceback investigations are ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and other locations where ill people reported eating.”

Two recalls directly linked to the outbreak have taken place, both in late April.

Illinois-based Grant Park Packing recalled approximately 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef on April 29.

The products were produced between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 in 2018.

The ground beef that was produced by K2D Foods and later recalled after being linked to an E. Coli outbreak. (USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service)

The ground beef recalled was packaged and distributed in 40-pound boxes to institutions. The items were shipped to Minnesota to be distributed further as well as places in Kentucky.

“Unopened, intact, packages of ground beef collected as part of the ongoing investigation tested positive for E. coli O103 at an FSIS laboratory. The sample was collected at a point of service where multiple case patients ate. At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak. Further traceback and product analysis continues to determine if the recalled products are related to the E. coli O103 outbreak,” FSIS stated.

Georgia based-K2D Foods, which distributed products branded as Colorado Premium Foods, recalled approximately 113,42 pounds of ground beef on April 23.

The items were produced on March 26, March 29, April 2, April 5, April 10, and April 12.

The beef was packed in 24-pound boxes and distributed to businesses in Florida and Georgia for further distribution to restaurants.

The recall was also prompted by a sample that tested positive for E. coli. It was obtained from a restaurant that people who got sick said they ate from.