Beef Packers Inc. Recalls More Ground Beef for Salmonella

Beef Packers Inc. is recalling more than 22,000 pounds of potentially <"">Salmonella-tainted ground beef – the firm’s second such recall since August.

According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

The ground beef involved in this most recent Beef Packers’ recall may be linked to two cases of Salmonella Newport. The products subject to this recall include:

* 60 pound cases of “GRD Beef Fine 93/07 10/60.” Each case bears the identifying case code W69363 with Use/Freeze by dates of 10/11/09.

The recalled ground beef products were produced on September 23, 2009 and bear the establishment number “EST. 31913″ printed on the case code labels. They were distributed to a retail distribution center in Arizona. Because these products were repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names, FSIS says consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall.

In August, Beef Packers recalled 825,769 pounds of frozen ground beef products that were tied to 39 cases of Salmonella Newport in 11 states. As we’ve reported previously, Beef Packers Inc. was a major supplier to the National School Lunch program, yet the August recall was only initiated at the retail level. It did not include ground beef sent to schools.

According to a recently published USA Today investigation, the federal government purchased 450,000 lbs of Beef Packers ground beef made during the dates covered by the August recall, some of which was destined for schools. Neither the government nor Beef Packers knows where the ground beef made for schools during the recall period is today — or whether it has been consumed, USA Today said. The USDA doesn’t track ground beef once it has been sent to the processor, and ground beef from one supplier is often mixed with other orders from other suppliers before being shipped to states.

According to the FSIS, the particular strain of Salmonella Newport involved in both Beef Packers’ recalls, as well as the multistate outbreak, is resistant to many commonly prescribed drugs, which can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

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