What HelloFresh Customers Need To Know About The Possible E. Coli Link

Food poisoning is no joke, with about 48 million Americans affected each year according to the CDC. Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, and E. coli are among the most prevalent foodborne illnesses, and the most common foods that could cause these illnesses when consumed include unpasteurized juices and milk (plus soft cheeses made from that milk), "raw or lightly cooked sprouts," and animal products that haven't been cooked fully, such as chicken, beef, pork, turkey, eggs, and seafood. Even some leftovers can be dangerous to eat.

While there isn't a guaranteed way to avoid food poisoning, the CDC provides guidelines on how to lower your risk. A few easy ways to stay safe are washing your hands and keeping a clean workspace when working with raw meat, and separating raw products from ready-to-eat foods. You should also make sure to cook meat to the appropriate "internal temperature" and store any raw meat and leftovers promptly at safe, cold temperatures. However, no one is completely safe from foodborne illnesses, not even ever-popular meal kits. In 2021, HelloFresh issued a recall on its onions due to potential salmonella contamination (via FDA). Now, it seems the meal kit company has another possible health risk, and this time it involves ground beef.

Ground beef shipped in July may have traces of E. coli

On September 10, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert regarding packages of ground beef that were shipped in HelloFresh meal kits between July 2 and 21, 2022. Per the notice, 10-ounce packages of 85% lean/15% fat ground beef with codes "EST#46841 L5 22 155" or "EST#46841 L1 22 155" (located on the side of the container) may have been contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Affected packages also read "EST.46841" on the USDA's "mark of inspection" label. The ground beef in question is no longer for sale, which is why a recall wasn't ordered; however, the alert was issued due to the possibility of some HelloFresh users storing the affected meat in their freezers. FSIS advises consumers to immediately discard any contaminated product.

FSIS is investigating the issue and strongly recommends that consumers fully cook all raw meat before consumption. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill any bacteria that may be present. Speaking to Consumer Reports, a HelloFresh rep revealed that the supplier of the beef was Thomas Foods, though Pritzker Law alleges the supplier was Lakeside Refrigerated Services, which recalled over 120,000 pounds of ground beef last April. If you have any questions or concerns about the health alert, you can reach HelloFresh at hello@hellofresh.com or www.hellofresh.com/contact-us. Here are a few more warning signs that your ground beef has gone bad.