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USDA issues national alert on contaminated ground beef

The USDA is urging consumers to check their freezers for potentially contaminated packages of ground beef sold in the last month.
USDA issues national alert on contaminated ground beef
Posted at 11:00 AM, Apr 22, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a nationwide alert that ground beef sold throughout the U.S. might be contaminated with E. coli. 

The USDA said the ground beef was produced on March 28, 2024, and has a use or freeze-by date of April 22, 2024. The USDA noted that the affected products would have “EST. 960A” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Officials said there have not been any reports of illnesses. The USDA said the contamination was found by the beef's producers while conducting an inventory of product that was on hold because it was found positive for E. coli O157:H7.

"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ and food service institutions’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them and food service institutions are urged not to serve these products," the USDA said. "These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."

A full list of affected products is available on the USDA's website. 

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The USDA said that the products were not placed under a recall because they are no longer available for purchase. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said symptoms typically appear three to four days after consumption. The symptoms typically last up to a week. The symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting, the CDC added.

Cooking ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit will kill off E. coli, the CDC said. 

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