Ground Beef Recall

Possible E. coli contamination in Kansas ground beef

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) National Beef Packing Co. recalled ground beef products that have been distributed nationally due to E. coli contamination found in Ohio. Read on for details and safety preparation tips.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a common bacteria that is normally found in the intestines of a healthy person or animal. Most strains are harmless, but few can cause bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting – and more severe cases can cause death. The National Beef Packing Co. located in Dodge City, Kansas has recalled around 60,424 pounds of ground beef due to this possible contamination.

"Trash all “National Beef” with freeze by dates of August 12 or August 14, 2011."

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled this a Class I recall with a high health risk. Class I recall means there’s reasonable probability that eating or using these products will cause serious, undesirable health consequences and even death.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture found the problem during a regular bacteria testing in a state-inspected facility. Further investigation of the contamination led to the identification of the food source – National Beef Packing Co.

The products that have been affected include:

Ground beef chubs made on July 23, 2011 with a freeze by date of August 12, 2011.

  • Boxes with six 10 pound chubs of “National Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck” – with product code 483.
  • Boxes with eight 5 pound chubs of “National Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck” – with product code 684.
  • Boxes with twelve 3 pound chubs of “National Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck” – with product code 782/785.
  • Boxes with six 10 pound chubs of “National Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck” – with product code 787.

Ground beef chubs made on July 25, 2011 with a freeze by date of August 14, 2011.

  • Boxes with eight 10 pound chubs of “National Beef 81/19 Fine Ground Beef” – with product code 431.
  • Boxes with eight 10 pound chubs of “National Beef 90/10 Fine Ground Beef” – with product code 471.
  • Boxes with six 10 pound chubs of “National Beef 86/14 Fine Ground Round” – with product code 494.

All box and chubs have been distributed nationwide to other distributors for further packaging and distribution. These products may have been repackaged in different consumer-size packaging and sold under different retail brand names.

Even though a specific brand of ground beef has been recalled, using unsafe preparation and freezing methods can cause your own ground beef to become contaminated. Here are some tips for safe preparation of fresh and frozen ground beef:

  • Wash hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling any raw meat which includes: ground beef and chicken
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils that have been used for handling raw meats with hot soapy water
  • Clean any spill immediately
  • Keep raw foods (beef, chicken and fish) away from other foods that will not be cooked
  • Cook fresh and frozen ground beef to a temperature of 160 degrees to kill harmful bacteria like E. coli
  • Do not rely on color as an indicator that ground beef has been cooked thoroughly
  • Use a thermometer to determine the internal temperature of ground beef to be sure the temperature is high enough to kill bacteria
  • Refrigerate raw meat and chicken within two hours of purchase
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours after cooking

Be sure to follow these safety tips to enjoy uncontaminated ground beef. 
 

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 15, 2011
Last Updated:
October 21, 2012