The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has just recalled another 5.1 million pounds of ground beef due to a possible salmonella contamination. Initiated by Arizona meat company JBS USA, the announcement extends the massive recall that first began back in October, pushing the total amount of recalled beef up to 12.1 million pounds.
“FSIS is continuing to investigate illnesses associated with this widespread outbreak, and additional product from other companies may also be recalled, ” the agency reported in a press release Tuesday. So far, the CDC has confirmed that 246 people in 25 states have been sickened by the meat, which contains the salmonella newport strain that commonly causes food poisoning. Of those affected, 59 have been hospitalized.
According to the FSIS, the latest recalled ground beef products were produced between July 26 and September 7 and were sold nationwide under the Kroger label. They also contain the establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA inspection mark on the package. (A full list of the labels and products that are part of the recall can be found on the FSIS’ website.)
While all beef products currently in stores have been deemed safe to eat, the FSIS is concerned that customers may have contaminated meat in their freezers. The agency urges anyone who has bought ground beef since July to check the dates carefully before eating. If the “use by” or “sell by” date is earlier than September 27, consumers should immediately throw away the beef or return it to the store where it was purchased.
Additionally, the USDA reminds people to handle ground beef properly to limit their risk of salmonella. “No raw poultry or meat is sterile,” officials explain. “In addition to discarding the product associated with this recall, consumers can protect themselves now and in the future by ALWAYS cooking their raw meat to a safe internal temperature.”
Anyone with questions regarding the recall can call the JBS USA Consumer Hotline at (800) 727-2333.