New Ground Beef Recall Will Make You Rethink What's for Dinner

Health Check 26

burgerUnnerving news for red meat eaters: Late yesterday, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service officially announced that potentially contaminated ground beef trimmings from Canadian food company XL Foods were distributed in the U.S. and are subject to a recall.

The problem dates back to September 3, when the meat raised concerns about E. coli at the U.S. border. The meat ended up testing positive for contamination, and a recall was issued in Canada on September 16. Yet, somehow, it took until yesterday for FSIS and these U.S. meat companies to reveal they had received and distributed contaminated meat from XL Foods. Not sure how that works!

The trimmings were distributed in California, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin, according to the recall notice and may have been processed into items like ground beef patties, beef jerky, and pastrami. Fantastic!

Thankfully, there are no known, reported sicknesses linked to the trimmings in the U.S. However, in Canada, health officials are currently investigating five cases of E. coli infections they're not yet linking to this particular recall.

In the meantime, seems like everyone is scrambling around trying to cover themselves. XL Foods released the following statement about their efforts to help the investigation:

We are working in cooperation with all processors and retailers that received this product and instructed them to remove all product from store shelves as quickly as possible ... We understand there are some illnesses being investigated to determine a link between the recalled product ... At this time no linkage has been determined.

Well, whew! Glad we've got that covered.

But, seriously, this is disconcerting. Sure, there are steps we can take to protect ourselves, like only consuming ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F and using a food thermometer that measures internal temperature (the only way to confirm that it has been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria). But what about addressing the issue in the long run? It seems like every couple of months, we get slammed with another ground beef recall. (In July, 33 people were infected with a strain of salmonella!) Seems like a serious signal that our food safety system might not be cutting it.

Does this recall worry you?

Image via Gabriel Amadeus/Flickr

recall, dinner, general health


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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Doesn't worry me at all. Everyone knows eating that junk is dangerous, if people want to risk eating it anyway that's their problem.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Yes, Rhonda Veggie, we all know you are better then the rest of us so you can get off of your freakin' high horse already. I knew who wrote that comment before I even looked at the name. Get over yourself!

nonmember avatar Tara

Not worried. E. coli is everywhere. I don't know why people get so freaked out everytime there is an outbreak reported. E. coli lives naturally in our body anyway. It's considered Normal Flora. When it gets into body sites not normal, it can then sometimes become a pathogen. But really, we're not going to get rid of microbes. They mutate quicker than anything else on the planet. They will ultimately win. Get used to it.

nonmember avatar unknown

just because you don't eat meat and only eat know who you are....doesn't mean you are any better...all i have heard on the news recently is recall of this and recall of that veggie, spinach being the most recent in the last day or don't hate the meat or those who eat it and get off your damn high horse like veggies are any better.

tuffy... tuffymama

It doesn't concern me that much for myself because we are so blessed to have the good fortune to only eat local, grassfed Angus from a farm we visit, and it's processed by a butcher we know (and we eat a lot if it; I'm growing a future master of the universe here). It does freak me out for everyone else, though. Helpless kids are fed this stuff! Ugh. I don't know what needs to be done, but something needs to change and people need to practice better health and safety habits.

tuffy... tuffymama

*a lot OF it

marabie marabie

The concern is the strain which can cause serious complications not the bacteria

Amy Collins I love it ! Thank you for saying it :)

Stefanie Adams

Rhonda Veggie: I got E.Coli from contaminated produce in 2008. NOT from eating meat. So, nice try, but why don't you do yourself a favor and stop talking.

AnnaV89 AnnaV89

This article seriously made me hungry... What is wrong with me lol

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