The US Food and Drug Administration has recalled some 6.5 million pounds of beef due to possible contamination with salmonella, as well as a further 89,000 pounds of ham due to the possible contamination with listeria.
Both salmonella and listeria are dangerous kinds of bacteria that can have severe consequences on human health if they are ingested through the consumption of infected meat. Salmonella can cause severe diarrhea and cramping for up to 72 hours after it is consumed, whereas listeria can cause an infection called listeriosis, which carries symptoms such as a stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, convulsions, and gastrointestinal symptoms. In addition, listeria can be very harmful to young children, the elderly and pregnant women, as well as those with compromised immune systems.
The infected beef first became known following reports from 57 people across US states reporting illnesses after consuming JBS Tolleson Inc’s beef products. The beef in question was packaged between July 26th and September 7th, hence the massive quantity of beef that’s part of the recall. If you see an FDA marking that says EST. 267 on a beef package, then you should know that said package is part of the recall.
On the other hand, the infected ham has already caused one death, as well as a handful of serious illnesses. The potentially contaminated, ready-to-eat deli loaf items were produced by Johnson County Hams between April 3rd, 2017 and October 2nd, 2018. The affected products are labeled as follows:
• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “JOHNSTON COUNTY HAMS, INC. COUNTRY STYLE FULLY COOKED BONELESS DELI HAM.”
• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully-Cooked Country Ham” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. FULLY COOKED COUNTRY HAM BONELESS Glazed with Brown Sugar.”
• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “Premium Fully-Cooked Country Ham LESS SALT Distributed By: Valley Country Hams LLC” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
• Varying weights of 7 to 8-lbs. plastic-wrapped “GOODNIGHT BROTHERS COUNTRY HAM Boneless Fully Cooked.”
The FDA is warning consumers in relation to both instances to check their fridges and freezers to make sure that none of this affected meat is sitting in them. It recommends throwing any affected products away or returning them to the place of purchase. Should you have fallen ill due to consuming any of the affected products, be sure to seek medical help before referring the incident to the US Department of Agriculture.