Massive Beef Recall Hits United States, Multiple Illnesses Reported

Dozens of reported illnesses have been linked to ground beef products distributed by JBS Tolleson.

A Class 1 recall has been announced for almost 7 million pounds of beef products due to Salmonella contamination.

A Class 1 is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

JBS Tolleson, Inc., a Tolleson, Ariz. establishment, is recalling approximately 6,912,875 pounds of various raw, non-intact beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The raw, non-intact beef items, including ground beef, were packaged on various dates from July 26, 2018 to Sept. 7, 2018. The following products are subject to recall: [Products List (PDF) | Product Labels (PDF only)]

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations and institutions nationwide.

On September 5, 2018, FSIS was notified of an investigation of Salmonella Newport illnesses with reported consumption of several different FSIS-regulated products by case-patients.

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The first store receipt potentially linking the purchase of FSIS-regulated product to a case-patient was received on September 19, 2018; FSIS was then able to begin traceback of ground beef products.

To date, eight case-patients have provided receipts or shopper card numbers, which have enabled product traceback investigations. FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state public health and agriculture partners have now determined that raw ground beef was the probable source of the reported illnesses.

Traceback has identified JBS as the common supplier of the ground beef products. The epidemiological investigation has identified 57 case-patients from 16 states with illness onset dates ranging from August 5 to September 6, 2018. FSIS will continue to work with public health partners and will provide updated information should it become available.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment.

In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

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

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. Other cuts of beef should be cooked to a temperature of 145F and allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes.

The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact the JBS USA Consumer Hotline at (800)727-2333.

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