Ground Beef Recall Affects Arizona

Arizona: Don't eat ground beef recall

In a nutshell: Recalled ground beef sent to Arizona retail distribution center.

From a Beef Packers, Inc., press release distributed by the FDA

WASHINGTON, December 4, 2009 – Beef Packers, Inc., a Fresno, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 22,723 pounds of ground beef products that may be linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The products subject to recall include:
60 pound cases of “GRD Beef Fine 93/07 10/60.” Each case bears the identifying case code W69363 with Use/Freeze by dates of 10/11/09.

The ground beef products were produced on September 23, 2009 and bear the establishment number “EST. 31913” printed on the case code labels.

The ground beef products were distributed to a retail distribution center in Arizona. Because these products were repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names.

Consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall.

As a result of an ongoing investigation into illnesses from Salmonella Newport associated with ground beef products, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) notified FSIS of the situation. Epidemiological and traceback investigations conducted by FSIS and ADHS determined that there is an association between the fresh ground beef products and two (2) illnesses reported in Arizona. The Salmonella Newport strain was isolated both from the patients and from ground beef produced by Est. 31913. They were also linked by their uncommon pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern found in PulseNet, a national network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company’s Consumer Line at (877) 435-4071.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

This particular strain of Salmonella Newport is resistant to many commonly prescribed drugs, which can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

FSIS would like to remind consumers of the importance of following food safety guidelines when handling and preparing raw meat. All consumers should safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

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