Massive Beef Recall Spreads in West Coast
According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service a possible contamination from Salmonella Newport has prompted approximately 825,769 pounds of ground beef recall by Beef Packers Inc., of Fresno California. There was a recent outbreak of Salmonellosis in Colorado. A possible link to the recalled beef prompted the FSIS to announced the recall today. States where Beef Packers Inc has sent ground beef include Arizona, California, Colorado, and Utah. Production dates of the recalled beef are from June 1, 2009 to June 23, 2009. The establishment number is EST: 31913.
Salmonella Newport is a particularly resistant strain to several drugs used to treat the salmonellosis. It can raise a person’s risk of being hospitalized or possible resistance to treatment. The beef recall reminds us what to look for with salmonellosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, sometimes severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 3 days of eating contaminated food. It is one the most common foodborne illnesses.
The beef recall is linked to a recent outbreak of salmonellosis, and so it is important to remember that this can be a very serious infection. Those who have weak immune systems are at higher risk for life-threatening complications of salmonellosis. These individuals include infants, the elderly, persons with HIV, and those undergoing chemotherapy.
Food safety is very important when handling and preparing raw beef. The FSIS recommends that hands be washed for at least 20 seconds before and after handling the meat. After using cutting boards, dishes, and counters where the raw meat has been, it is important to wash these with warm, soapy water. Stay clear of raw meat coming in contact with other food that will not be cooked. Raw beef and pork should be cooked at 160 degrees and poultry should be cooked at 165 degrees. These temperatures should be checked with a thermometer. The beef recall is a good reminder of how to cook our food safely so that illness does not break out.
Other tips for keeping meat safe is to refrigerate raw beef and poultry within 2 hours after purchasing it. After it is cooked, beef and poultry should be refrigerated within 2 hours. These tips can help protect those who are cooking and eating the meat that we so depend on for certain nutrients. The FSIS has stated that any consumer who has question about the beef recall can call the company’s Consumer Line at (877) 872-3635.