Frozen Beef Recalled, and E. Coli Contamination Is to Blame

Nearly 4,000 pounds of frozen beef products have been recalled in what has become the latest beef recall to hit the market in recent months. Following H-E-B supplier Tyson Foods Inc.'s recall of approximately 93,697 pounds of raw ground beef products in November and Valley International Cold Storage Acquisition, LLC's recall of some 20,000 pounds of frozen beef products in September, Morasch Meats Inc. issued a recall of raw frozen diced beef products due to potential E. coli contamination on Dec. 22.

A recall notice shared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) alerted consumers that approximately 3,930 pounds of product was recalled. The recalled raw frozen diced beef products were produced on August 24, 2022 and shipped to distributor locations in Oregon for further distribution to restaurants and other institutional users. Affected products were sold in 30-lb. box packages, each containing three 10 lb. vacuum-sealed, clear plastic bags of the diced beef products. The package of the recalled product contains "BEEF DICED 3/10# BAGS," as well as case code FM010152, LOT#: 082422, and a date of 8/24/2022 on the case label. The recalled product also bears establishment number "EST. 4102" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The Portland, Oregon establishment initiated the recall after testing results reviewed by the FSIS showed the product tested positive for Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7. Escherichia coli, commonly abbreviated as E. coli, are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Although some strains are harmless, others can make people sick. E. coli O157:H7 is the most common strain to cause illness in people, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Signs and symptoms of infection may appear within two to eight days after exposure to the organism and may include dehydration, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Although most people recover within a week, some illnesses last longer and can be more severe. Some people may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

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As of the Dec. 22 posting of the recall, no illnesses had been reported in connection to the recalled raw frozen diced beef products. Due to the health risk the products pose, however, the FSIS advised that the products be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. The FSIS noted that there is concern the products may still be in institutional or restaurant freezers, adding, "restaurants and institutions are urged not to serve these products." The FSIS also reminded consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, which includes only consuming diced beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 145 Fahrenheit.