Utah processing facility recalls 50 tons of ground beef for E. coli contamination

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ST. GEORGE — JBS USA’s Swift Beef facility in Hyrum is recalling nearly 100,000 pounds of ground beef products after an inspection found the products may be contaminated with E. coli. This is the second large-scale recall for the company since October.

The recall was announced late Friday, after the issue was discovered Thursday when the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service visited the facility in response to a ground beef sample that was collected at a further processing establishment by the agency.

The sample came back positive for E. coli O157: H7, according to the USDA’s recall statement, which concludes that “Swift Beef Company was the sole source supplier for the ground beef products.”

The approximately 99,209 pounds of bulk ground beef subject to the recall was produced Oct. 24, and then the product was shipped to retail distributors for further processing and distributors for institutional locations in California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington state.

While there have been no confirmed reports of illness due to consumption of the products from the Hyrum plant to date, the statement released by the USDA said this is considered a high-risk recall.

Products subject to recall

  • 2,000-pound bulk pallets of Swift Ground Beef (81 percent lean) Fine Grind Combo bearing product code 42982.
  • 8-10-pound plastic-wrapped chubs of “blue ribbon BEEF” Ground Beef (81 percent lean) Coarse Grind bearing product code 42410.
  • 8-10-pound plastic-wrapped chubs of “blue ribbon BEEF” Ground Beef 93/07 (93-percent lean) Coarse Grind bearing product code 42413.
  • 8-10-pound plastic-wrapped chubs of “blue ribbon BEEF” Ground Beef (85 percent lean) Coarse Grind bearing product code 42415.
  • 8-10-pound plastic-wrapped chubs of “blue ribbon BEEF” Ground Beef  (73 percent lean) Coarse Grind bearing product code 42510.

The beef labels may be viewed here. The products affected have the establishment number “EST. 628” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Consumers are advised to safely prepare raw meat products, both fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Cuts of unground beef should be cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit and then allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes. The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature. A safe internal temperature chart can be found here.

This particular strain of E. coli — 0157:H7 — is a potentially deadly bacterium caused by a Shiga toxin-producing pathogen, which is a “major foodborne pathogen causing severe disease in humans worldwide,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

The disease can can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2-8 days after exposure to the bacteria. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output that can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and older adults.

While most recover from hemolytic uremic syndrome, it can be fatal in up to 5 percent of cases. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

This is the second large beef recall by JBS USA in less than two months. The company recalled nearly 7 million pounds of beef products Oct. 4 from the JBS facility in Tolleson, Arizona, because the meat was associated with a 25-state salmonella outbreak in which 246 people became ill.

Read more: 6 million pounds of meat recalled after 57 people became ill from strain of salmonella

The issue came to the attention of the Food Safety and Inspection Service during an investigation of several illnesses caused by the bacteria in patients who consumed beef products. The agency traced the bacteria back to ground beef products and identified JBS Tolleson as the common supplier of the product.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the agency’s website.

Consumers may call the JBS USA Consumer Hotline at 800-727-2333 for more information.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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