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    USDA warning consumers about E. coli in some ground beef products

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    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for ground beef products from Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc. that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

    FSIS is issuing this public health alert to ensure that consumers are aware that these products should not be consumed.

    A recall was not requested because the products are no longer available for purchase.

    The raw ground beef items were produced on March 28, 2024. The products have a “Use/Freeze by” date of April 22, 2024, and packaging date of “032824.” The list of products that are subject to the public health alert can be found here.

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    The products subject to the public health alert bear establishment number “EST. 960A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to food service institutions and retail locations nationwide.

    The problem was discovered by the establishment while conducting an inventory of product that was on hold because it was found positive for E. coli O157:H7. The company notified FSIS that they inadvertently used a portion of the contaminated beef to produce ground beef products that they subsequently shipped into commerce.

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    There have been no confirmed reports of illness due to consumption of these products.

    FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ and food service institutions’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them and food service institutions are urged not to serve these products. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

    FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature, https://www.fsis.usda.gov/safetempchart.

    Consumers with questions about the public health alert can contact Gina Adami, Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc. Representative, at 402-575-4702 or [email protected].

    About E. coli infections
    Anyone who has eaten any of the implicated products and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about their possible exposure to the bacteria. Specific tests are required to diagnose the infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

    The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some patients may also have a fever. Most patients recover within five to seven days. Others can develop severe or life-threatening symptoms and complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    About 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening kidney failure complication, known as a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor.

    Many people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent injuries or death. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children younger than five years old because of their immature immune systems, older adults because of deteriorating immune systems, and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients.

    People who experience HUS symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical care. People with HUS will likely be hospitalized because the condition can cause other serious and ongoing problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, brain damage, and neurologic problems.

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