A few months ago, more than 12 million pounds of beef were voluntarily recalled and, if you’re a regular beef buyer at the grocery store, you probably know that the first quarter of the year was plagued by massive recalls due to salmonella contamination. In January, beef processor JBS Tolleson Inc. announced it was voluntarily recalling more than 5.1 million pounds of raw beef products that could be contaminated with salmonella, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service.
The recalled beef items included ground beef packaged between July 26 and September 7, 2018, but the department also released a list of the contaminated products that had been distributed nationwide.
This is an expansion of the beef recall announced in October, bringing the total amount of non-intact raw beef products recalled to more than 12 million pounds.
Over 246 people got sick from eating the infected meat in 25 states, and 56 have been hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that people infected with salmonella could develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps that can last from anywhere between 12 and 72 hours after exposure. It is usually mild enough since most people recover without going on any treatment. Nevertheless, it can be dangerous if salmonella enters the bloodstream and then disperses to other parts of the body.
The CDC cautions that people with weakened immune systems, children younger than 5, and adults older than 65 are more prone to present severe complications. So if you want to protect yourself and your loved ones, make sure to cook your meats thoroughly. The CDC recommends that you cook ground beef hamburgers and food items like meatloaf to 160°F internal temperature.
If you are preparing foods with raw ground beef at home, make sure to wash your hands and any items that might have come in contact with the meat with hot soapy water.
Doctors stress that you cook beef products at high enough temperatures to kill any bacteria. If you get a hamburger, for instance, cook it “well done.” The CDC recommends that ground beef hamburgers are cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.