WICHITA, Kan. – Cargill Beef announced a voluntary recall of approximately 29,339 lbs. of fresh ground beef produced at its Wyalusing, Penn. plant, in May on concerns of contamination from Salmonella Enteritidis.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the problem while investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis involving 33 people from seven states. FSIS was able to link illnesses in five people to the ground beef products made at the Wyalusing facility. Two of the five victims have been hospitalized. However, the pathogen can effectively be treated with antibiotics, FSIS said.
The ground beef was produced on May 25 and sold wholesale and for further processing, according to FSIS. The beef was shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut, Maine and New York. The products under recall are 14-lb. chub packages of "Ground Beef Fine 85/15", packed three chubs to approximate 42-lb. cases, FSIS said. The products bear the establishment number "EST. 9400" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The use-by date has passed and these products are no longer available for retail sale, however FSIS and Cargill Beef are concerned that some product may be frozen in consumers' freezers, the agency said.
Cargill said the company is contacting its customers to alert them to the products are affected by the recall.
"Foodborne 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. "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."