More than 40,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled Due to E.coli

updated Jun 15, 2020
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With everyone focused on coronavirus precautions and prices, a recent ground beef recall should serve as a reminder that now is not the time to forget the usual food safety standards. The recall covers more than 43,000 pounds of beef from a meatpacker in New Jersey, but the packages shipped all over the country for sales at Walmart and other stores, reports AllRecipes.

There have been no reports of anybody sickened by the meat yet, but the recall is a serious one — it’s a Class I (the highest) for possible E. coli contamination, a bacteria which can make people extremely sick or even kill them. While the issue was detected in a routine safety check at the factory, potentially contaminated meat may already be out in the stores or in people’s freezers, so if you’ve purchased ground beef since the beginning of the month, it’s best to check if it fits the description.

Meat included in the recall will say “EST 46841” inside the USDA inspection mark, but may be under brands such as Marketside Butcher or Thomas Farms, and includes grass-fed ground beef and ground beef patties. A full list of recalled products is on the USDA website, along with warning signs of the illness and what to do (call them, don’t eat it) if you think you might have some of the contaminated meat in your house.

The recall is just the latest both in the long history of E. coli contamination in ground beef and for difficulties in the meat industry right now. Because of the way ground beef is packaged in the U.S., it allows for high probability of contamination and those contaminations can be very widespread. Additionally, even as the meat industry faces serious issues in safely staffing their production lines due to coronavirus outbreaks, the USDA has actually loosened safety precautions. Of course, you can always be sure to avoid E.coli in ground beef by making sure you cook it to 160°F (think: smash patties, not the traditional medium-rare pub burger).