Nearly 300,000 Pounds of Raw Beef Recalled Over E.coli Fears

Nearly 300,000 pounds of raw beef products are being recalled over concerns they may be contaminated with E.coli.

Greater Omaha Packing, a beef supplier and producer based in Omaha, Nebraska, is recalling "approximately 295,236 pounds of raw beef products intended for non-intact use that may be contaminated with E. coli," the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced in a statement Friday.

The wholesaler produces about 150,000 boxes of beef and variety meats that are then sold throughout the U.S. every week.

The potentially contaminated raw beef products were "intended for non-intact use" and produced on July 13, according to the FSIS.

Non-intact beef products include beef that has been injected or enhanced with solutions, or mechanically tenderized by needling, cubing, or pounding devices.

According to beefresearch.org, the primary concern involving non-intact beef is the introduction or translocation of surface pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7, into the deep, internal tissues of the final product.

The complete list of products and product codes for the beef products that are subject to recall can be found on the FSIS website.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "EST. 960A" inside the USDA mark of inspection and were distributed to further processors in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Nebraska.

The problem was reportedly discovered when FSIS collected a routine product sample that tested positive for the presence of E. coli O157:H7.

There have so far been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website states that most people begin to experience symptoms three to four days after consuming food infected with the bacterium.

While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

In November 2019, an investigation was launched into E. coli outbreaks in 16 states that sickened dozens of people across the U.S.

One outbreak was found to have been carried by whole romaine heads, while the other was restricted to salad kits packaged by Fresh Express.

At the time, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers to avoid romaine lettuce grown in the region around Salinas, California, or any lettuce whose place of origin is unknown.

ground beef patties
File photo: A worker removes ground beef patties from a conveyor belt. Beef has been recalled in the U.S. over E.Coli fears. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images