Just today, an additional five million pounds of ground beef was recalled, bringing the total up to more than 12 million pounds in the latest salmonella outbreak.
In October, Arizona-based meat producer JBS Tolleson Inc. issued a recall for 6.5 million pounds of raw, non-intact beef products due to an outbreak of salmonella, CNN reports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service identified JBS as the supplier of the tainted ground beef believed to be the “probable source” of repeated salmonella illnesses involved in both recalls.
Between August 5 and September 6, 57 cases of salmonella illness linked to this outbreak were reported in 16 states. On Tuesday, December 4, JBS Tolleson Inc. announced it was recalling an additional 5.1 million pounds of raw beef that also could be tainted with salmonella.
For the second recall, the suspicious beef was produced and packaged between July 26 and September 7. The beef has been distributed nationwide and includes the brands Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Showcase/Walmart, Kroger and JBS Generic for both recalls. As of November 15, 246 people in 25 states have become sick from salmonella attributed to this outbreak. Almost 60 people have had to be hospitalized.
“FSIS is continuing to investigate illnesses associated with this widespread outbreak, and additional product from other companies may also be recalled,” the USDA stated in its recall notice.
The USDA has stated that consumers should discard or return any recalled beef. The agency recommends people check their freezers for the product.
“Only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. Other cuts of beef should be cooked to a temperature of 145°F and allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes,” the USDA said.
Symptoms of salmonella usually occur within 12 to 72 hours of consuming contaminated food. Such symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and a fever that last between four and seven days. Most people recover from a salmonella infection on their own, but some may need to be hospitalized. Those at a greater risk for severe side effects and illness include people with a weakened immune system, babies and the elderly.
So far in 2018, there have been 18 salmonella outbreaks attributed to tahini, raw chicken, eggs, raw turkey, pasta salad, cereal, melon, dried coconut, chicken salad, kratom, raw sprouts and pet guinea pigs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates Salmonella causes approximately 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year.