On August 30, the USDA announced that dozens of Publix beef products may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O26—a strain of potentially harmful E. coli. (Learn all about E. coli here.) The voluntary recall has been categorized as Class I, which means that the USDA deems the event as “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” Although the situation is ongoing, a total of 18 cases of illness have been linked to the recalled ground beef.
Where Is It Happening?
The recalled items were shipped to Publix Super Market retail locations in central Florida and several surrounding counties. Publix stores in major cities like Tampa and Orlando are included in the recall, too. Click here to see the full list of affected counties.
Not in that area? Rest easy. This potential outbreak has not been tied to any Publix stores outside of the listed areas.
What Products Are Affected?
Publix released a list of 29 products that are included in the recall. The list includes ground chuck and dozens of ready-made products. The USDA reports that only products on the list that were sold between June 25 through July 31 are affected. The exact supplier has yet to be identified.
Think you’re affected? Double check your freezer for these foods and toss them immediately:
- Ground Chuck
- Ground Chuck Burgers
- Gourmet Burgers (Jalapeno & Cheddar, Pimento & Cheese, Bacon & Cheddar, Bacon & Fried Onion, Blue Cheese, and Swiss & Mushroom)
- Seasoned Ground Chuck Burgers (Badia, Mesquite, Montreal, and Steakhouse)
- Meatballs (Bacon & Cheddar, Bacon & Fried Onion, Blue Cheese, Jalapeno & Cheddar, Swiss & Mushroom, and Spanish)
- Meatloaf (Seasoned and Grillers)
- Sliders (Bacon & Cheddar, Bacon & Fried Onion, Ground Chuck, Blue Cheese, Jalapeno & Cheddar, and Swiss & Mushroom)
- Stuffed Peppers
How to Keep Your Family Safe from E. Coli Outbreaks
Staying up to date with current recalls is an important step, but it’s virtually impossible to predict where and when you may encounter a harmful strand of E. coli bacteria. To reduce your risk of infection, be sure to follow these food-safety best practices:
- Wash your hands before preparing food (see our hand-washing tips), and be extra diligent when handling raw meat. Wash your hands after, too.
- Avoid eating undercooked meat. Have these food-safe cooking temperatures on hand.
- Thoroughly wash raw produce. Here’s how.
For more tips and information, head to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.