Ground beef recall due to E. coli contamination

Irving Hamilton
September 22, 2018

Cargill Meat Solutions recalled almost 133,000 pounds of ground chuck, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday. The full list of recalled products can be found here.

The beef products were shipped from Cargill to retail locations across the USA, including Publix, which has recalled the products, and can be identified by the establishment number "EST. 86R", which can be founded inside the USDA inspection mark on the outside of the package. The epidemiological investigation identified 17 illnesses and one death with illness onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018.

The beef in question appears to have been contaminated with a less common strain of E. coli called E. coli O26.

The Cargill plant had a smaller recall of Excel brand ground beef in August, but at that time no illnesses had been reported. People should contact their healthcare provider if they have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you can not keep liquids down and you pass very little urine. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended. Most people get better within a week, according to USDA. A severe infection can lead to kidney failure.

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The elderly, children under 5 and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for this type of infection. Symptoms include a decrease in urine output and easy bruising.

On Aug. 16, 2018, FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O26 illnesses. The products were shipped across the country and have "EST".

That recall involved 10-pound chubs of Excel 93/7 fine grind ground beef with a "Use/Frz". Anyone who bought this beef is urged not to eat it, but throw it away or returned to the place of purchase.

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