Ground Beef Recall: Possible E. coli Contamination Spans These States

by Victoria Santiago
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Over 28,000 pounds of ground beef are being recalled after a sample tested positive for E. coli. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall yesterday, January 6th. The recall was initiated by Oregon’s Interstate Meat Dist. Inc.

28,356 pounds of the contaminated raw ground beef were shipped out to seven states. If you’re in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming be sure to check any raw ground beef packages you buy. The meat packages are labeled as store-brand. Store brands to look out for are Walmart, Albertsons, Kroger, and WinCo. The products were produced on December 20th, 2021, and include “EST. 965” somewhere on the package. It should be visible near the USDA’s mark of inspection, unless it’s near the time stamp, “use by,” or “freeze by” dates.

Of course, if you’ve accidentally bought a contaminated package of ground beef, there are a few things you can do. For one, DON’T eat it. E. coli will make you incredibly sick and could even lead to death. Diarrhea, abdominal cramping, dehydration, and kidney failure are all symptoms.

Children under five and elderly people are at the greatest risk of accidentally getting E. coli. Symptoms show up after three or four days. According to the Center for Disease Control, that’s the average length of time it takes. For some, they’ll start experiencing issues as soon as the day after they ate the meat. For others, it might take up to 10 days. Overall, if you’re experiencing any serious side effects, it’s best to immediately go to the hospital.

It’s Been Two Months Since the Last Ground Beef Recall

Almost 7,000 pounds of ground beef were recalled at the end of 2021, although for very different reasons. These raw beef packages didn’t test positive for E. coli, but they did contain pieces of plastic. A whopping 6,876 pounds of contaminated raw ground beef were sold by Shamrock Foods.

This recall mostly affected restaurants, but everyday consumers could be impacted, too. Safety inspectors for the USDA were worried that restaurants would keep the raw meat in their fridges without looking to the recall. Per usual, any potential consumers were told to throw out the meat in question.

For those ground beef packages, an identifying mark was “EST. 6239” stamped on the inside of the USDA mark. The meat left processing centers at the end of October, with boxes weighing around 12 pounds. There was a variety of meat packages affected by the November recall. Meats ranged from Beef Chuck Patty to Ground Slider Angus.

In light of all this, it doesn’t mean that beef recalls are the new normal or are super common. It’s important to realize that the amount of ground beef that we recall varies each year. Some year the number is higher and other years the number is lower. What’s more, we’ve been producing 27 billion pounds of ground beef. That’s a lot of meat. There’s at least bound to be some mess-ups in there.