Food safety alert: Check what ground beef is in your freezer, USDA advises

The agency's food safety arm has been alerted that ground beef products possibly contaminated with E. coli have made it to market.
The products that may have been contaminated include burger patties. | Photo: Shutterstock

Federal authorities are warning restaurants and foodservice operations to check that none of their frozen or ready-to-cook ground beef products are from a batch known to have been contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The chubs and patties were packed by Greater Omaha Packing Co. into containers that carry the establishment number “EST. 960A.”  Labels also indicate that the meat should be used or frozen by April 22.

Greater Omaha alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture Department last week that the dangerous strain of E. coli had been detected in a batch of beef. Although the meat was then quarantined, some of it may have been inadvertently blended into ground beef products, according to the company.

Sales of those products were halted, but authorities cited the possibility that some may have already reached restaurants and supermarkets.  A list of the specific products is available here.

The U.S.D.A.’s meat safety arm, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, said that no instances have been confirmed of people getting sick from the meat.

The suspect beef items were packed by Greater Omaha on March 28.

If any business or consumer is in possession of the meat, they should either discard it or return it to the seller, according to the FSIS.

Symptoms of E. coli poisoning include diarrhea, dehydration and abdominal cramps. The bacteria is destroyed by temperatures of 160 degrees or above.



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