Cargill Meat Solutions issued a recall of 132,606 pounds of ground meat due to a deadly E. coli outbreak, the US Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.
Eighteen people have become sick with E. coli illness linked to this meat. One of them died.
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The recalled meat, which may be contaminated with E. coli, is from the chuck portion of the carcass and was produced June 21. The USDA inspection mark on the package says "EST. 86R" inside. The products have been distributed nationwide.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, illnesses have been reported in four states: Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts and Tennessee. The sick individuals began experiencing symptoms between July 5 and 25.
Symptoms of E. coli begin between one and 10 days after consuming contaminated food or drink, but most people become sick three to four days after exposure, the CDC says.
Symptoms can include diarrhea that is sometimes bloody, vomiting and fever. Most people recover after five to seven days. Some individuals, about 5 to 10%, develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
A recall of ground meat products from the same Colorado-based company was announced in August for ground meat products sold at Publix locations. At the time, the company reported E. coli illnesses but no deaths.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service "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," said the recall announcement issued Wednesday.
The agency reminded consumers to use a meat thermometer to assure an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is necessary to kill bacteria that can cause illness.