Cargill Beef Sickens 33 People

Ground beef supplied to Hannaford Supermarkets by Cargill Meat Solutions (Wyalusing, PA) has been linked to 33 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis infections in seven states.

Earlier today, Cargill recalled 29,339 pounds of fresh ground beef products (14-lb chub packages of “Grnd Beef Fine 85/15” packed 3 chubs to approximately 42-lb cases). The recalled product was produced on May 25, 2012 and shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut, Maine and New York for further distribution.

The recalled meat was repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different brand names. We know so far that Hannaford, a regional supermarket chain in the US Northeast, sold the repackaged ground beef in its stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Illnesses were reported in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont. Investigations by federal and state health and agriculture departments were able to tie five of the illnesses to Cargill’s ground beef epidemiologically and via traceback. Onset dates for those five illnesses ranged from June 6th to June 13th; two of the five victims were hospitalized.

Although the outbreak strain has not yet been recovered from an unopened package, the Vermont Department of Health found the strain in a sample of leftover product with no packaging information, according to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The “use by” date of the recalled ground beef has expired, however, consumers may still have some of this product in their freezers. If you purchased fresh ground beef in late May or early June from a supermarket in one of the affected states, please check your freezer for any remaining product.

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