One person has died in the U.S. from Escherichia coli O26 contamination linked to ground beef, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Seventeen others have also become sick after eating the potentially contaminated beef.
More than 132,000 pounds of ground beef from Cargill has been recalled due to the outbreak, as a result of a string of related illness and one death in July.
Right now, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is concerned consumers might have the beef in their freezer. The products subject to the recall have the label “EST. 86R” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The beef was shipped to retail locations nationwide.
If you have come across any of the beef, the FSIS says you should throw it out, or return in to the place of purchase. The full list of the recalled beef can be found here.
At this time, FSIS wants to shine a light on safely preparing raw meat — fresh or frozen — by always washing your hands after handling the beef product, as it can help aid in stopping cross-contamination. It’s also a good practise to wash countertops and cutting boards with hot, soapy water. The inspection service also recommends to only consume beef once it’s been cooked to the safe consumption temperature of 71°C (160°F). Doing so kills harmful bacteria that could otherwise make you ill.
A great resource for how to prepare you fresh or frozen beef can also be found on the Canadian Beef Institute’s website here.