Beef Recalled, E. coli Contamination Possible

Ground beef products sold around the U.S. - including patties - have been recalled due to an E. coli scare.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a public health alert on certain ground beef products distributed nationwide, which could be contaminated with E. coli. There are 13 different products recalled, all listed on the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) website with their relevant lot codes and other packaging information. Retailers have been advised to remove these products from shelves, but customers are asked to be vigilant as well.

The FSIS issued this recall after the Greater Omaha Packing Co., the facility that packaged the beef, found traces of E. coli in its inventory, but so far, there are no confirmed reports of illness associated with these products. The company contacted FSIS and cooperated in the recall, which is widespread because this facility packaged beef that was sold around the U.S. under several different brand names. That includes the "Greater Omaha" brand, "GOHERF Homestyle" brand and several generic brands used by butchers and grocers through the country.

The impacted products include "ground beef chub" of several different sizes and brands, as well as packages of ground beef patties in various weights and quantities. The product names, lot codes and case codes on the FSIS website can be used to identify recalled products, as well as the production dates and expiration dates. According to the FSIS, recalled products were produced on March 28, 2024 and have a "Use/Freeze by" date printed on them of April 22, 2024.

Regulators noted that retailers have been alerted and the product should no longer be on sale at any stores in the U.S. However, they are concerned that customers who already purchased these products may have frozen them by now. They urge shoppers to check on any recent additions to their freezer, making sure that there is no recalled beef there.

E. coli is a bacteria that can lead to extreme illness and even death if ingested by anyone, particularly very young children or elderly adults, or those with underlying health conditions. Symptoms of E.coli infection include extreme gastric discomfort, but these typically subside within a week. If the infection persists, it may cause kidney failure, which would manifest as bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. People with any of these symptoms should seek a doctor, as E. coli typically requires some kind of treatment.

Consumers concerned by this recall can get more information from Greater Omaha Packing Co. via phone or email, with contacts listed on the FSIS website. The FSIS and USDA have resources as well, including alerts for future recalls and hotlines where citizens can send tips.