Cargill Beef, a business unit of Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., announced an immediate Class I voluntary recall of approximately 29,339 pounds of 85-percent-lean, fresh, ground beef produced at the company's Wyalusing, Pa., facility on May 25, 2012, due to possible contamination from Salmonella Enteritidis. Cargill is initiating this recall as a result of its own investigation and information provided by federal health and regulatory agencies.
The ground beef involved was repackaged for sale to consumers by Cargill's customers. For a list of packages associated with this recall, consumers should refer to the USDA recall Website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/index.asp.
USDA has confirmed that the strain of Salmonella Enteritidis associated with the ground beef recall is not antibiotic resistant. There are more than 2,400 strains of naturally and randomly occurring Salmonella found throughout nature.
"Food borne illnesses are unfortunate and we are sorry for anyone who became sick from eating ground beef we may have produced," said John Keating, Cargill Beef president in a prepared statement. "Ensuring our beef products are safe is our highest priority and an investigation is underway to determine the source of Salmonella in the animals we purchased for harvest and any actions necessary to prevent this from recurring."
USDA food safety guidelines for safely handling and preparing food can be found on the USDA Internet website: www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Safe_Food_Handling_Fact_Sheets/index.asp and serve as helpful food safety reminders. Beneficial ground beef food safety tips include:
- Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160° F using a thermometer to confirm;
- Be careful not to cross-contaminate food preparation surfaces or other fresh foods by proper handling, keeping them separated and properly washing cutting boards;
- Properly defrost frozen ground beef in a refrigerator for at least 24 hours before cooking.
Cargill is contacting its customers to make certain they know which of their ground beef products are affected by this recall. Consumers are urged to return any opened or unopened packages of listed ground beef to retailers. Cargill is working closely with its customers to make certain as much of the product is retrieved as possible. Consumers with questions about recalled ground beef products may go to http://www.cargill.com/products/ground-beef-recall or contact Cargill's consumer relations toll free telephone number, 888-812-1646.
For food safety inquiries, consumers can contact the USDA's "Ask Karen" virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov (http://www.askkaren.gov/). The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.