Cargill Meat Solutions issued a recall for 29,339 pounds of ground beef due to possible salmonella contamination. The salmonella contamination was found during a USDA investigation into a multi-state outbreak of salmonella poisoning.
The investigation is still ongoing. Thirty-three people in seven states fell ill from salmonella. The CDC and the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) found evidence that five of those people had eaten ground beef from the Cargill plant in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania. On further investigation, salmonella was found in ground beef produced at that plant on 25 May 2012.
The ground beef was sold wholesale in fourteen pound chub packages labeled “Grnd Beef Fine 85/15” and was repackaged at other establishments in consumer-sized packages. This makes it difficult for customers to determine if the ground beef in their freezer is part of this recall.
The outbreak occurred in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Vermont. The ground beef in this recall is no longer being sold fresh, since it’s past the sell-by date, but there is concern that consumers may have purchased the beef and put some in the freezer.
Cargill had to recall more than 36 million pounds of ground turkey last year due to salmonella contamination at their Springdale, Arkansas facility. The Wyalusing, Pennsylvania plant had recalls for ground beef in 2010 (8500 pounds) and 2007 (more than one million pounds due to e. coli contamination).
Ground beef photo via Shutterstock