When an E.coli outbreak linked to ground beef produced by Glenn’s Market and Catering in Watertown, WI, prompted a January 15 recall, it was the fifth time in eight months that ground beef was recalled for possible E.coli contamination. E.coli and ground beef is a combination that often has serious results.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a study of foodborne illness outbreaks in 2009 and 2010. Of the 11 multi-state outbreaks where a food source could be identified, two were linked to ground beef. Eight of the 43 recalls prompted by outbreaks during were for ground beef. And during that time period, E.coli in beef accounted for 46 hospitalizations and three deaths.
It was illness that prompted an investigation into the most recent recall. After the Wisconsin Division of Public Health discovered three confirmed cases of E.coli infection in Glenn’s customers who ate ground beef before they became ill, Glenn’s issued a recall for 2,532 pounds of ground beef. The recalled meat was ground between Dec. 22, 2012 and Jan. 4, 2013. Customers who may have purchased and frozen this meat should not eat it.
In October, Higa Meat & Pork Market in Honolulu recalled 4,100 pounds of ground beef for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination. No illnesses were associated with consumption of that meat.
In September, the largest beef recall in Canadian history spilled over into the US. XL Foods of Alberta recalled about 2.5 million pounds of beef products, including ground beef that were sold at grocery stores nationwide including Albertsons, Kroger, and Fred Meyer. In Canada, 18 people contracted E.coli infections from the tainted meat.
In August, Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing of Draper, Utah recalled approximately 38,200 pounds of beef products for potential contamination with E. coli O157:H7. No illnesses were associated with the recall.
And in May 21, 6,908 pounds of ground beef of produced by Lancaster Frozen Foods, of Lancaster, SC were recalled after samples tested positive during routine testing. No illnesses were reported in conjunction with the recall.