Nationwide health alert issued for ground beef products over possible E. coli threat

Ground beef, E. Coli

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service on Saturday issued a nationwide public health alert for ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli.

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In a news release, the FSIS said a recall was not requested because the products are no longer available for purchase. However, agency officials said they were concerned that some products were in the freezers of consumers and food service businesses.

The raw ground beef products were produced on March 28 and have a “best before” use/freeze date of Monday, April 22, and a packaging date of “032824,” the FSIS said.

The products subject bear establishment number “EST. 960A” inside the USDA mark of inspection and were shipped to food service businesses and retail outlets nationwide.

The list of products subject to the alert can be found here. The labels for these products can be found on the FSIS website.

The problem was discovered by an establishment conducting an inventory of products, according to the agency. The company notified the FSIS that they inadvertently used a portion of the contaminated beef to produce ground beef products that were subsequently shipped to retailers and restaurants.

There have been no confirmed reports of illness due to consumption of the ground beef.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control website, Escherichia coli -- more commonly known as E. coli -- are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Some strains of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others can cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia.

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) or email MPHotline@usda.gov.

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