Reports Of 'Rubber-Like' Contaminant Prompt Ground Beef Recall

Over one ton of raw meat — 2,122 pounds, to be exact — has been recalled due to foreign object contamination, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The recall is by Weinstein Wholesale Meats, Inc. and is for beef burger patties produced on March 14, 2023. 

The foreign object in question is a white "rubber-like" substance that has been identified as neoprene, a synthetic rubber. Complaints from several people who had purchased ground beef burger patties containing this white rubbery substance prompted the Illinois-based establishment to initiate the recall.

Despite the large amount of meat recalled, only one product was affected, notes the FSIS: 10.7 ounce packages of ground beef labeled "100% Grass Fed & Finished Beef Burger Patties 85% Lean/15% Fat." To find out whether you've purchased the product in question, check the use-by date or the establishment number: All recalled packages carry the same use by date of April 11, 2023, with the establishment number "Est. 6987." Both markers are prominently displayed on packaging.

The recalled ground beef is the latest in a string of recent meat recalls. Over 60,000 pounds of halal meat were recalled this week, as were nearly 12,000 pounds of turkey sausage, and more than 7,400 pounds of beef strips. Foreign object contamination was not pegged as the cause of any of these other recalls, however. Improper temperature instructions and undeclared allergens were to blame instead.

How to find out if you've purchased recalled ground beef

Foreign object contamination is, however, one of the most common reasons for food recalls. For the past two years, in fact, it has accounted for more food items (in total units) being recalled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) than any other cause. This form of contamination typically occurs during the preparation or packaging processes, and often involves bits of machinery that have broken off. Plastic, metal, and rubber are the three most likely materials.

Fortunately, no health issues have been reported to date as a result of this recent contamination, but the FSIS recommends checking any ground beef you may have in your refrigerator or freezer to ensure it's not included in the recall notice. The product was sold throughout the U.S. via an online source.

If you have purchased any of the foreign object contaminated ground beef from the Weinstein Wholesale Meats recall, don't eat it. Instead, toss it in the trash or take it back to the place where you bought it.