By Lorenz Dechamps
Nearly 13 tons of packaged ground beef shipped to retailers in at least seven U.S. states are being recalled over possible E. coli contamination, the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on Thursday.
The recall applies to approximately 28,356 pounds of the raw meat products produced on Dec. 20 and sold to retail locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, the federal service said.
The order came from Interstate Meat Dist. Inc., a food distribution company based in Oregon, which said the packages bear the establishment number “EST. 965.”
“The products subject to recall bear establishment number ‘EST. 965’ inside the USDA mark of inspection or printed next to the time stamp and use or freeze by date,” according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to the notice, the products were sold at WinCo Foods, Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons stores. The FSIS released a list (pdf) that shows the labels of all affected products.
Symptoms and How to Prevent E. Coli Infection
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, infections by E.Coli vary from person to person but symptoms generally include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested ways to prevent the spread of E. coli:
- Wash your hands.
- Cook meats thoroughly to kill harmful germs.
- Don’t cross-contaminate food preparation areas.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, unless the package says the contents have been washed.
- Avoid raw milk, other unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices. Don’t prepare food or drink for others when you are sick.
E. coli are a diverse family of bacteria that can be found in the environment, in foods, and in the intestines of people and animals. Most strains are harmless. Most people infected by the bacteria get better within five to seven days. Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until testing has been performed.
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