Food Safety Magazine

News | September 21, 2018

18 Ill and One Dead After Cargill Ground Beef E. coli Outbreak

By Staff

18 Ill and One Dead After Cargill Ground Beef E. coli Outbreak

On September 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) issued a notice that Fort Morgan, CO-based Cargill Meat Solutions is recalling over 132,000 pounds (66 tons) of ground beef products made from the chuck portion of the carcass that may be contaminated with  Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 bacteria. 

The recall was prompted after FSIS received notification of multiple E. coli illnesses. FSIS, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other public health officials determined that raw ground beef was the likely source of these reported illnesses. To date, CDC is reporting that an epidemiological investigation identified 18 illnesses in four states, six hospitalizations, and one death. Illness onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018.  Now, CDC says that the outbreak does appear to be over.

Cargill’s beef products were implicated following the investigation into a different, similar recall--issued in August--of ground beef sold at Publix stores. FSIS’ traceback information indicated that case-patients consumed ground beef products purchased at various retail stores that were supplied by Cargill. 

The products in question were produced and packaged on June 21, 2018 and have “EST. 86R” printed near the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide. See a full list of recalled products here. 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.

Consumers with questions regarding Cargill’s recall can call 1-844-419-1574 for assistance.

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