Nearly 5,000 pounds of beef products recalled in three states due to E. coli contamination fears

Nearly 5,000 pounds of beef products recalled in three states due to E. coli contamination fears

  • Almost 5,000 pounds of beef and chuck products were recalled on Tuesday
  • The packages were shipped ‘for institutional use’ to Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin
  • Health officials discovered the bacteria during routine sampling
  • However, no customer has reported falling ill from using the affected meat

Nearly 5,000 pounds of beef products are being recalled over a possible E. coli contamination.  

Aurora Packing Company, Inc, based in Illinois, said its products may have been contaminated with O157:H7, a potentially deadly strain.

The products were shipped ‘for institutional use’ to Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, according to a recall notice from the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Tuesday.

The bacteria was discovered during routine FSIS sampling, but it’s unclear on what date.

Health officials say that, so far, no illnesses from the affected products have been reported. 

On Tuesday, Aurora Packing Company, Inc recalled nearly 5,000 pounds of beef and chuck products over a possible E. coli contamination (file image)

The packages are of varying weights and include Aurora Angus Beef Boneless Beef Chuck Tender and Boneless Beef Heel Meat.

They were produced and packaged on February 27 and have case codes 29970, 49970 or 61150 written on the label.

Recalled products will have the establishment number EST. 788 inside the USDA mark of inspection.

FSIS said it’s concerned the affected products might be in institutional facility freezers and are advising that the packages be thrown out or returned to where they were purchased. 

Consumers with questions are asked to call David Stewart, the director of sales and marketing for Aurora Packing Company, Inc, at (630) 897-0551 during business hours.

E. coli (Escherichia coli) are bacteria that generally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals.

Most strains are harmless but a few, particularly E. coli O157:H7, can cause severe infections.

According to the Mayo Clinic, O157:H7 produces a powerful toxin, called Shiga toxin, that damages the lining of the small intestine.

Infections occur from coming into contact with the feces of humans or animals or eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. 

Symptoms typically include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting that generally last five to seven days. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates E. coli O157:H7 causes 265,000 illness, 3,600 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in the US annually.

Most people can recover without treatment, although there are cases in which people develop hemolytic uremic syndrome.   

This is a condition in which there is an abnormal destruction of blood platelets and red blood cells. 

The damaged blood cells can clog the kidney’s filtering system, resulting in life-threatening kidney failure, according to the Mayo Clinic.

This is the same strain that sickened at least 59 people in 15 states after they ate romaine lettuce from California last fall.

At the time, the CDC and the FDA confirmed the romaine lettuce was grown on a farm and came into contact with an agricultural reservoir that was found to have the bacteria in it.

Romaine lettuce was also implicated in a spring 2018 outbreakthat sickened more than 200 people and killed five, but a different E. coli strain was found to be responsible.