Seven-state Salmonella outbreak sparks beef recall

Jul 23, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – A Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak involving 33 cases in seven eastern states has triggered the recall of 29,339 pounds of ground beef by Cargill Meat Solutions of Wyalusing, Pa., the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced yesterday.

The company issued the voluntary recall after a federal and state investigation linked illnesses in five patients, two of whom were hospitalized, to the products, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reported.

The 33 cases were reported in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Vermont, the agency said.

The ground beef was produced on May 25 and was packaged for sale by stores in the Northeast at the end of May and in early June, Cargill said in a statement. Although the products are no longer in stores, FSIS and the company are concerned that some of the meat may remain in consumers' freezers, the FSIS said.

In connection with the recall, Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Me., is advising customers to check their freezers for ground beef with "use or sell by" dates from May 29 to Jun 16. The company promised to provide refunds for any returned products. The chain has 181 stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.

The FSIS and other federal and state agencies used epidemiologic and trace-back investigations and in-store reviews to link the illnesses in five patients to the Cargill products, the FSIS said. Leftover ground beef that was collected by the Vermont Department of Health tested positive for the Salmonella outbreak strain, though there was no remaining packaging information, the FSIS said.

Illness onset dates for the five patients whose cases were linked to the products ranged from Jun 6 to Jun 13, the FSIS reported. The agency and Cargill officials said the outbreak strain is not antibiotic-resistant.

See also:

Jul 22 FSIS press release

Jul 22 Cargill press release

Cargill recall page

Jul 23 Hannaford Supermarkets statement

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