What You Should Know About the Recent Beef Recall

Here's how to know if you could be affected.

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Recently the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recalled about 6.5 million pounds of beef products, including ground beef, which may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport. Find out how you can keep your family safe, and learn simple things you can do to prevent illness from Salmonella.

Could you Be Affected?

The recalled ground beef was produced by JBS Tolleson, Inc., of Tolleson, Arizona. Folks affected are from multiple states from around the country, with data collected at the end of October indicating 120 cases of infection and 33 hospitalizations. The recalled beef products were produced and packaged between July 26, 2018 to September 7, 2018, and were shipped to retailers around the country under various brand names. This means that if you purchase ground beef between those dates, you could possibly have beef in your freezer.

But don’t fret. Look inside the USDA mark of inspection for the number “EST.267.” and either throw away the beef purchased or return it to the store for a refund. You can also check the USDA-FSIS website for a list of stores and states where the recalled beef was sold here.

How Can You Prevent Illness from Ground Beef?

Any contaminated product that has been recalled shouldn’t be eaten. However, when handling raw meat in general (that hasn’t been recalled) you should handle it properly in order to minimize the chance of illness, like from Salmonella or E. Coli. Here are several simple things you can do to keep your ground beef safe:

• Clean: Wash your hands and any countertops or equipment used often. To wash your hands properly, use soap and warm water and wash your hands for 20 seconds. Wash your hands before, during, and after preparing food and always before sitting down to eat. Also, make sure to wash your utensils, cutting board, countertops and anything else the food touched with hot, soapy water.

• Separate: Separate your meat from other foods, especially those that will not be cooked. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and fish. Even when grocery shopping, keep raw meat, poultry and fish, away from other foods. And once you put it in the refrigerator, keep those raw meats poultry, and fish separate and wrapped so the juices don’t drip.

• Cook: Make sure to cook your ground beef to the proper minimum internal cooking temperature and check the temperature with a thermometer. Ground beef should be cook to a minimum internal cooking temperature of 160 degrees F.

• Chill: Once you get home from the market, refrigerate your meat immediately. Your refrigerator should be set below 40 degrees F in order to keep everything inside it cold. If you freeze your ground beef, put it in the refrigerator the night before to thaw, or you can use the microwave or cool water to thaw it as well. Even after you cook your ground beef, you should refrigerate it within 2 hours (one hour if the temperature is over 90 degrees F).

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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