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Second Recall For Tainted Beef In Arizona, New Mexico

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, December 07, 2009 1:01 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Cargill, Salmonella, Tainted Beef, Recall, Foodborne Illness

Cargills Fresno beef packing plant has another problem with salmonella contamination in its beef.

Cargill, Fresno


IMAGE SOURCE IMAGE SOURCE: © WikiMedia Commons / ground beef / author: Rainer Zenz 

20,000 pounds of beef have been recalled by a California company over concerns of salmonella.

This is the second recall this year by Beef Packers Inc. owned by Cargill and based in Fresno, California over the Salmonella Newport strain of salmonella. 

The meat is already linked to two cases of sickness.

The company recalled 22,723 pounds of ground beef on September 23. The beef was repackaged at a distribution plant in Arizona, reports CNN and is then distributed under different retail names.

The recalled beef has the establishment number “EST. 31913” says the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The USDA calls this a Class I Recall, which presents a high health risk.

Two people in Arizona were sickened with Salmonella Newport, a strain which is often drug resistant and can lead to hospitalization.

The particular strain was identified through the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) by the uncommon pulse-field gel electrophoresis pattern found in PulseNet, a national network of food labs coordinated by the CDC.

Salmonella Newport can be life threatening if it makes its way into a person’s bloodstream. Most people recover without any treatment in four to seven days.  S. Newport is listed as one of the top ten most frequently identified Salmonella in U.S. cattle and one of the few diseases increasing in prevalence, according to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL).

The ground beef would not still be in stores, but may in home freezers. The meat should be thrown out or returned to the store for a full refund. Safeway announced the recall affects meat with a sell by date of September 28 through October 11 and includes ground beef, patties, meat balls and stuffed peppers.

Last August, Beef Packers recalled almost 826,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with the same strain after at least 39 people were sickened.

USA Today investigated whether beef, used in school lunches, was recalled and found it was not. The orders made for schools tested negative for salmonella but should have been rejected anyway, say food safety experts, because children are particularly susceptible to food-borne illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports between 1998 and 2007, more than 470 outbreaks at schools occurred sickening at least 23,000 children. The food reported, pasta, chicken tenders, turkey and chocolate milk are lunchroom staples.

USA Today finds the supplier has been suspended from the school lunch program three times, twice for repeatedly failing to produce ground beef that was free of salmonella.

Salmonella is a common bacterium responsible for food-borne illnesses caused by salmonellosis. Symptoms include fever, chills, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea and effects an estimated 1.4 million Americans every year.

Consumers should wash their hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Also wash cutting boards and utensils to prevent the spread of salmonella. #

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