Beef up on food safety before the long weekend.
An Illinois-based meat company this week recalled more than 62,000 pounds of raw beef over E. coli concerns, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) — just days before many Memorial Day revelers sink their teeth into grilling season.
The Aurora Packing Company’s 62,112 pounds of potentially contaminated meat include steak cuts, brisket, chuck and ribs, according to a list of nearly four dozen recalled products posted online. Their USDA mark of inspection includes the establishment number “EST. 788,” the agency said.
The products in question had been “shipped nationwide for further distribution and processing,” according to the USDA agency, which advised that institutions dispose of the items or bring them back to where they purchased them. Consumers haven’t yet reported any illnesses linked to consumption of the recalled products.
People with such an infection typically begin feeling sick three or four days after consuming the contaminated product, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, vomiting and bad stomach cramps.
While most people recover within a week or so, some infections prove “severe or even life-threatening,” the CDC says.
Health risks aside, one 2005 study pegged the annual economic cost of illness, premature deaths, medical care and lost productivity due to E. coli O157 infections at $405 million.
The FSIS urged people to only consume meat products cooked to a 165°F internal temperature. “The only way to confirm that beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature,” the agency said.