- Shutterstock/Tyler Olson
- A ground beef recall has grown to affect over 160,000 pounds of product after 177 cases of E. coli infection have been reported in 10 states.
- The recall appears to only apply to bulk packages of ground beef used by restaurants and institutions.
- The recall is large, but pales in comparison to recalls of millions of pounds of beef seen in 2018 and 2008.
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A previously announced E. coli outbreak is growing, and ground beef companies are recalling more of their product.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that in addition to 113,424 pounds of ground beef that were recalled by Georgia-based K2D Foods, Grant Park Packing of Illinois was recalling 53,200 pounds of beef because of potential E. coli contamination, bringing the total to 166,624 pounds.
The recalls come after 177 cases of infection were reported in 10 states. 21 of those people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.
The meat in question all appeared to be sold in bulk packages.
Grant Park Packing recalled products sold in “40-lb. bulk cardboard boxes of ‘North Star Imports & Sales, LLC. 100% GROUND BEEF BULK 80% LEAN/ 20% FAT’ marked ‘FOR INSTITUTIONAL USE ONLY,'” dated “10/30/2018, 10/31/2018, and 11/01/2018.”
K2D Foods recalled “24-lb. vacuum-packed packages in cardboard boxes containing raw ‘GROUND BEEF PUCK’ with ‘Use Thru’ dates of 4/14/19, 4/17/19, 4/20/19, 4/23/19, 4/28/19, and 4/30/19.”
The CDC specifically targeted restaurants and bulk buyers in a statement, saying, “Restaurants, retailers, and institutions should not sell or serve the following recalled ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O103 and could make people sick.”
E. coli infection can cause cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. It’s most commonly caused by contact with human or animal feces according to the Cleveland Clinic.
The recall may seem large, but it actually pales in comparison to some of the largest ground beef recalls from years earlier. In 2008, 143 million pounds of beef were recalled after potential mad cow disease exposure. In 2018, 12 million pounds of beef were recalled after potential salmonella contamination.