Beef Salmonella Contamination Recall: How to Tell Whether Your Beef is Contaminated

Millions of pounds of beef were recalled Thursday because the beef might be contaminated with Salmonella, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

The beef came from JBS Tolleson, Inc. based in Tolleson, Arizona, and the beef that is part of the recall was packaged between July 26 and September 7. The beef was raw and non-intact and all the products have the establishment number "EST. 267" in the USDA inspection mark.

All of the products that are potentially impacted were shipped to retailers or institutions like restaurants around the United States. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service was alerted to an investigation into the Salmonella in early September. It wasn't until September 19 that a receipt linked the illness in a patient to the beef products. Eight customer's purchases of the beef products have been verified either through customer receipts or through shopper cards, according to the release.

The illness was traced back to the JBS brand ground beef specifically and an epidemiological investigation reportedly identified 57 case-patients from 16 states, all of which experienced their illness begin between August 5 and September 6.

Consumers should keep in mind that they might have these products in their freezers and should check the establishment number and the package dates along with the product list available here. Anyone with the possibly contaminated beef should return it to the place of purchase or throw it away completely.

The recall is a Class I recall, meaning there is "reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."

Salmonella Symptoms

Those who become ill with the salmonella can experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms associated with salmonellosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps after they become infected, according to the Center for Disease Control.

While Salmonella is a common infection it can be dangerous for some people. Most people will be sick for about four to seven days and then will recover without any medical treatment but some groups are more sensitive to the infection.

The very young and the old can have a harder time recovering from the infection. Additionally, in severe cases of diarrhea, some people can become dehydrated and need medical treatment, according to the CDC. In the case that the infections spreads to the intestines or bloodstream, people require antibiotics to recover.

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A stack of ground beef patties moves on a conveyor belt at a meat packing and distribution facility June 24, 2008. More than six million pounds of beef were recalled in the United States for possible salmonella contamination. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images