Over 120,000 Pounds Of Ground Beef Are Being Recalled. Here's Why

Sixty-plus tons of ground beef are being recalled from stores nationwide due to a potential E. coli contamination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS). The issue was discovered during a regular inspection and testing of imported products at Lakeside Refrigerated Services in Swedesboro, New Jersey, and includes 120,872 pounds of ground beef products – from beef patties to veal meatloaf — produced between February 1 and April 8, 2022. The recalled items are easily identifiable by the establishment mark "EST 46841" located inside the USDA inspection mark on the packaging.

Although no illnesses have been reported, the FSIS shares that symptoms — which include bloody diarrhea and vomiting — from this particular strain of E. coli (STEC serotype O103) can appear from two to eight days after exposure. As the Mayo Clinic notes, raw or undercooked ground beef and vegetables are the most common ways people are exposed to E. coli. (In fact, over 28,000 pounds of ground beef were recalled earlier this year due to an unrelated E. coli outbreak.) Most people recover within seven days, but more serious complications can develop and are primarily associated with small children, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems.

What to do if you have purchased recalled ground beef

This strain of E. coli has been linked to a number of previous infectious outbreaks, observes Rapid Microbiology, including a 2019 recall of over 150,000 pounds of ground beef products which led to 200 confirmed illnesses and 29 hospitalizations. In light of this information, this most recent ground beef recall announcement should be taken very seriously.

The FSIS has expressed concern that some people may have the recalled ground beef stored in their refrigerators or freezers. Given the nationwide distribution of the products, all U.S. residents should be careful to check their ground beef to ensure their product numbers do not match those listed for the recall. If you have purchased potentially contaminated ground beef, either discard it or return it to the store where it was purchased. If you fear you might have consumed some of the potentially contaminated ground beef, do not delay. The FSIS recommends immediately seeking emergency medical treatment.