The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced a ground beef recall affecting nearly 26,000 pounds of ground beef because it may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. The last ground beef recall was centered in St. Petersburg, Florida—but this one looks to be more widespread.
The ground beef was produced by Cargill Meat Solutions, a company in Fort Morgan, Colorado. It was shipped to warehouses in California and Colorado, who then shipped the ground beef products on to retailers. The problem was discovered on August 22.
What grocery stores have been affected?
Albertsons, Safeway, Pak ‘N Save and Vons stores in seven states have voluntarily recalled certain ground beef products made with beef supplied by Cargill, as well as certain ground beef products that were prepared near the recalled Cargill beef. The stores are located in:
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
Products recalled by the grocery stores were sold between August 20 and August 23 and have Sell Thru dates of August 21 through August 25 (8-21-18 through 8-25-18). The Sell Thru date would be printed on the scale label located on the plastic wrapping of your beef.
How to tell if you have recalled ground beef products
Please check your refrigerator/freezer for ground beef that was sold in 10-pound chubs (a chub is a tube-shaped, sausage-like package, formed by clear plastic wrap, with the ends sealed by metal crimps). The chub labels would include the following text:
- “EXCEL 93/7 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF”
- “Use/Frz. By Sep 05”
- “EST. 86R” inside the USDA inspection mark
You can view PDFs of the labels here. The FDA recommends that you either throw away or return the affected ground beef to the place of purchase immediately. Do not cook or consume this product.
How to protect your family from E. coli
It’s impossible to predict what the next food recall might be about, so it’s always smart to keep up good food safety habits at home. Wash fresh vegetables properly, cook foods thoroughly (ground beef products should be cooked to a temperature of 160°F, as recorded on a food thermometer) and make sure your family knows good hand-washing habits.