Salmonella, listeria fears prompt beef, ham recall

The Salmonella bacteria, shown here in a microscopic image, has prompted the recall of 6.5 million pounds of ground beef. Image courtesy National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease/Wikimedia

Oct. 4 (UPI) — An Arizona company has recalled 6.5 million pounds of beef over potential salmonella contamination after 57 people were sickened across 16 states, federal officials said Thursday.

The recalled products include raw ground beef packaged from July 26 to Sept. 7, which were processed at JBS Tolleson company in Tolleson, Ariz., a U.S. Department of Agriculture release said.

Fifty-seven people have become ill from ground beef contaminated with salmonella across 16 states from Aug. 5 to Sept. 6, an epidemiological investigation showed.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state health and agriculture partners, determined raw ground beef was the likely culprit of illnesses in an investigation dating to Sept. 5.

Salmonella-contaminated food can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 hours to 72 hours and the illness usually lasts four to seven days. However, older people and infants with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness and some severe cases may require hospitalization.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service noted that it is concerned some of the products may still be in consumers’ freezers.

“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them,” the USDA statement said. “These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

In an unrelated recall, Johnston County Hams in Smithfield, N.C., announced Thursday consumers should discard or return 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products believed to be contaminated with listeria.

The products, which include fully cooked ham and deli ham, were produced between April 3, 2017, and Oct. 2, 2018. Some consumers may have some of the products in the freezer, the USDA said.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, convulsions, diarrhea and gastrointestinal symptoms. In pregnant women, the infection can cause early delivery or miscarriage.


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