More than 132,600 pounds of ground beef products made from the chuck portion of the carcass are being recalled because the meat may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O26 (E. coli), a bacteria that can cause potentially life threatening illness in some humans. At least 17 people have been sickened and one person has died between July 5 and July 25, 2018, after eating the meat.
The recall was initiated by Cargill Meat Solutions, a Fort Morgan, Colorado-based establishment. Affected ground beef products were produced and packaged on June 21, 2018, and bear the establishment number “EST. 86R” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were shipped to retail locations nationwide and were sold under various brand names. A list of the affected products can be found on the company’s product list.
The USDA is concerned that some people who purchased the meat may have frozen the meat for future use. Consumers should check their freezers for affected ground beef products. Anyone with recalled meat products should not consume them, but return them to the place of purchase.
An investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) traced the illnesses and death to the consumption of ground beef products purchased at various retail stores that were supplied by Cargill Meat Solutions.
E. coli O26 is a variation of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. People infected with this strain of E. coli typically become ill 2-8 days after exposure to the organism. Most will develop diarrhea, which is often bloody, and vomiting. Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe.
Most people recover within a week, but on rare occasions, some develop more servere infections, like hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in children younger than 5, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of HUS include easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
USDA News Release