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Public Health Alert Issued For Ground Beef Contaminated With E. Coli

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FSIS
Federal officials issued a public health alert over the weekend warning consumers to check their freezers for ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli.
The U.S. Department of Agricultures Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued the alert on Saturday, and said there would be no recall because the affected ground beef is no longer available for purchase. Instead, the agency is warning consumers who may have already purchased the affected beef to check their refrigerators and freezers.
The affected raw ground beef items were produced on March 28, 2024, have a Use/Freeze By date of April 22, 2024, and bear establishment number “EST. 960A” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The beef was shipped to food service institutions and retail locations nationwide. The affected items include ground beef and pre-formed patties, with a [complete list](https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/food_label_pdf/2024-04/PHA_label_04202024_01_List%20of%20products.pdf) of products available on the FSIS website.
The FSIS said Greater Omaha Packing Co. discovered the problem while conducting an inventory of product that was on hold because it tested positive for E. coli. The company found that it had inadvertently used a portion of the contaminated beef to produce ground beef products that they subsequently shipped into commerce, and notified the FSIS.
The agency said there have been no confirmed reports of illness due to consumption of these products.
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that typically causes symptoms including dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Most healthy adults recover on their own within about a week, but some can develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, particularly children and the elderly.
FSIS is concerned that some consumers and food service institutions may have affected beef in their freezers. Consumers should not eat the beef, and food service institutions should not serve it. The contaminated beef should be thrown out or returned to the place of purchase.
TMX contributed to this article.