The National Beef Packing Company recalled over 60,000 pounds of ground beef products after it was found that they may be contaminated with the harmful E. coli bacteria.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the recall on Friday for the Dodge City, Kan. meat company. The recall comes as a result of a routine microbial test performed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture that found traces of the harmful, and potentially deadly bacteria in some randomly tested packages.
Upon further investigation it was found that only meat from the National Beef Packing Company tested positive for the bacteria.
The now recalled beef was sold in some stores belonging to Walmart, Sam's Club, Winn-Dixie, Kroger and Publix Super Markets. In addition to packages of plain ground beef, packs of seasoned meatballs and meatloaf were also affected at Kroger stores. At Publix, a wide variety of ground beef products were affected, including a number of flavored hamburger patties, stuffed peppers, meatballs and oven-ready meat loaf.
“National Beef has actually never had a recall,” Keith Welty, the company's vice president of marketing, told The Christian Post Monday.
“We're still working through the recall this morning...really trying to work to satisfy our consumers that are calling in and our customers,” he said.
This recall is listed as a “Class I” recall, a rating FSIS reserves for foods “in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.”
Fortunately, FSIS hasn't received any complaints of illnesses associated with its findings. But it warns consumers that these recalls shouldn't be taken lightly. Consuming contaminated meats can lead to problems as simple as bloody diarrhea and dehydration or as severe as kidney failure.
The Department of Agriculture is reminding meat consumers to cook ground beef at a temperature of at least 160 degrees and to use a thermometer to be certain it is being cooked at a safe temperature.
A link to more information on this recall is available at FoodSafety.gov on the “Recalls & Alerts” page.