Days before Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA) has announced a recall on raw beef that may contain E. coli. So before you head out to barbecue some steaks or ribs this holiday weekend, be sure to confirm that the raw beef in your fridge or freezer is not included in the recalled products that affects more than 62,000 pounds of meat.
In a recall notice issued on May 22, the USDA notified consumers that the possible contamination of E. coli in meat packaged at the Aurora Packing Company, Inc in Illinois was discovered after testing random samples. Fortunately, though, the agency said in the recall announcement that "there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products."
Though the recalled products were packaged in Illinois on April 19, they were shipped nationwide for distribution, according to the USDA. So you'll want to make sure your raw is in the clear before you head out to the grill.
To do so, have a look at this spreadsheet that provides a full list of "the products subject to recall." You can also reference this PDF of packaging labels to help identify if your beef is among the recalled products.
The products included in the recall — impacting roughly 62,112 pounds of raw beef products — will have an establishment number, which reads "EST. 788," inside the USDA mark of inspection. According to The Denver Post, 46 different cuts of beef are included in the recall, including rib, steak, skirt, and brisket.
Romper's request for further comment from Aurora Packing Company regarding the recall was not immediately returned.
Food safety and health officials are concerned that these products may be stored away in consumers' freezers, so be sure to do a deep dive inside yours and have a close look at those labels. And if you do find that your beef is included in the recall, the USDA stated that they should be thrown away immediately or returned to the place of purchase.
Food safety recalls are always a bit concerning, but especially so with a possible risk of E. coli, a bacteria that can make some people very sick, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While some strains of the bacteria won't make you ill, some can cause diarrhea as well as urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia, according to the CDC.
Regarding this new recall, the USDA is urging any consumers to contact their health care providers immediately if they believe they've been infected with E. coli. Common symptoms of E. coli include diarrhea, abdominal pains and cramps, feeling fatigued, loss of appetite, and vomiting, among others, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
So before your Memorial Day festivities this upcoming weekend, make sure your beef products are safe to consume. And if you're worried they're not, be sure to toss them and perhaps swap out your menu options for chicken or veggie burgers instead.