Yikes. Better check your beef if you’ve been shopping at Safeway, Albertson’s or Target anytime recently in Oregon. The nationwide recall on beef, according to The Oregonian, stems from a Cargill slaughterhouse in Fort Morgan, Colorado. Authorities suspect the beef has been contaminated with E. coli. While most types of E. Coli are fairly harmless, there are several strains which are pathogenic and can cause serious damage to a human, or even be fatal in some cases.
The Colorado meatpacker according to one report, is recalling more than 132,000 pounds of ground beef. The news reports just last month the slaughterhouse was also linked to a recall of 25,000 pounds of ground beef. So far the outbreak has made 17 people ill and even killed one person.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday the beef was produced and packaged at on June 21 at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan and shipped to retailers nationwide. The beef products in question include 3-, 10- and 20-pound packages of ground beef under the Our Certified, Excel, Sterling Silver, Certified and Fire River Farms brands with July 11 use or freeze by dates. The Oregonian reports to also look out for “EST. 86R,” which is the plant ID number, and can be found on the outside of the package.
Some symptoms of Escherichia coli, also known as E. Coli, as listed by mayoclinic, include the following:
- Diarrhea, which may range from mild and watery to severe and bloody
- Abdominal cramping, pain or tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting, in some people
The type identified by the USDA during the August recall of beef produced at Cargill’s Fort Morgan plant was E. coli 0157. The latest recall has been identified by the federal agency Wednesday as E. coli 026, the strain also responsible for the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant multistate outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in 2015.
One group of E. coli — which includes O157:H7 — produces a powerful toxin that damages the lining of the small intestine, which can cause bloody diarrhea. It’s worth noting that both strains can cause similar illness, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control. The most common way to acquire an E. coli infection is by eating contaminated food. At the top of the list? Ground beef.
According to the USDA, the following stores may have sold the recalled beef products:
- Aldi (stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin)
- Sam’s Club (nationwide)
- Target (nationwide)
- Meijer (nationwide)
- Safeway/Albertson’s (nationwide)
- Vons (stores in California)
- Pak N Save (stores in California)
In a statement on Thursday, Cargill said all of the affected products have been removed from supermarkets. If your family eats beef, now would be a great time to go through the freezer and throw out any suspect meat, and of course any beef that was purchased recently.