Food & Drink

Supplier in Publix E. coli recall pulls another 132,000 pounds of beef sent nationwide

dneal@MiamiHerald.com

The supplier whose beef Publix had to recall in August after 18 E. coli illnesses announced a recall Wednesday night of another 132,606 pounds of beef.

Cargill Meat Solutions sent this recalled beef to meat companies such as Certified Angus Beef, Fire River Farms, Sterling Silver, Excel and Our Certified, sold in 3-pound, 10-pound and 20-pound chubs. All were produced June 21 and were to be sold or frozen by July 11. The product list is here.

“(Food Safety Inspection Service) is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers,” the USDA recall notice says. “Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

The CDC declared this outbreak over in its Thursday afternoon update. Of the 18 illnesses, 15 were in Florida and one each were in Colorado, Massachusetts and Tennessee. Six people were hospitalized. One Florida resident died.

USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service August trace of what’s now 17 illnesses and one Florida death from E. coli O26 ended at raw ground beef sold at Publix. This resulted in the Aug. 30 recall.

“FSIS’ traceback information indicated that case-patients consumed ground beef products purchased at various retail stores that were supplied by Cargill Meat Solutions,” the recall notice stated.

Cargill e-mailed a statement to The Miami Herald Thursday afternoon:

“We were distressed to learn a fatality may be related to an E.coli contamination of one of our products. Our hearts go out to the families and individuals affected.

“We want to make sure that consumers understand how to identify and safely dispose of any questionable ground chuck. All affected product was pulled from supermarket shelves, but consumers may still have it in their freezers, so it is important that they take action to prevent possible illness.

“If there is any doubt, consumers should throw it out.”

Cargill also had to make beef recalls in 2007 and 2010 after E. coli illnesses and 2009 (twice) after salmonella sicknesses. A ground turkey salmonella problem in 2011 caused a USDA public health alert.

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This version of E. coli can strike within two to eight days after eating tainted food.

“Most people infected with STEC O26 develop diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting,” the USDA says. “Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Infection is usually diagnosed by testing of a stool sample. Vigorous rehydration and other supportive care is the usual treatment; antibiotic treatment is generally not recommended. Most people recover within a week, but rarely, some develop a more severe infection. “

According to the Centers for Disease Control, HUS, the potentially fatal kidney failure associated with E. coli O157:H7, is “uncommon with STEC O26 infection in the United States, but it can begin as the diarrhea is improving.”

Meat servers or eaters with questions on this recall can call Cargill at 844-419-1574.

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