Recent ground beef E. coli O157:H7 recalls include products made by large producers and grocery stores. In some cases, reports of illness prompted the recalls. In others, proactive testing by companies or regulatory agencies identified the contamination.
What is E. coli O157:H7?
Under the broad tent of E. coli, the pathotype most often associated with recalls and outbreaks is E. coli O157:H7. Because it’s a member of the subgroup that produces a poison to humans called a Shiga toxin, E. coli O157:H7 is also known for the severe illness it causes.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) often produces illness that requires hospitalization. Symptoms of an infection include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. These infections are also associated with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), complications of E. coli infections that both cause kidney failure.
Ground beef is the most common source of STEC outbreaks in the U.S. Leafy greens hold the second spot. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) regulates meat and poultry. It publishes many of these recalls on its website. In recent years, the number of meat and poultry recalls issued annually for bacterial contamination has declined. With just one 2020, they reached an all-time low. Here’s a summary of the nine most recent ground beef E. coli O157:H7 recalls.
Recent Ground Beef E. coli O157:H7 Recalls
June 13, 2020 Lakeside Refrigerated Services of Swedesboro, NJ issued a recall for 42,922 pounds of ground beef and ground beef patties sold under the brand names Marketside Butcher, Thomas Farms and Value Pack at Walmart, Food City and other stores. USDA FSIS discovered the problem through routine testing.
November 11, 2019 New Seasons Market in Oregon issued a ground beef recall after at least three E. coli O157:H7 illnesses were reported among people who purchased the meat from three different stores. New Seasons Market stores in North Lombard, North Interstate and Cedar Hills sold the recalled product.
October 18, 2019 Pride of Florida of Raiford, FL issued a recall for 64,797 pounds of raw beef products including ground beef, ground beef patties and chopped pepper steaks. A third-party lab performing testing for the company discovered the problem.
E. coli Probe in Canada Led to Permanent Closure
October 17, 2019 Ryding-Regency Meat Packers Ltd. of Toronto, issued a recall for burgers, gyros, and kufta kabobs produced in Ontario, Canada. Retail stores in the U.S. sold the products under the brand names Kronos, Devanco, Ziyad, Shop Rite and Landis.
After an investigation of E. coli contamination at the facilty, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency permanently pulled the federal slaughter, processing and export licenses. Until its closure, Ryding-Regency Meat was Canada’s largest kosher meat plant. The company was consistently under fire for alleged acts of animal cruelty and air pollution.
March 19, 2019 La Rosita Fresh Market Inc. of Mt. Prospect, IL issued a ground beef recall. It included about 54 pounds of raw ground beef products made and sold at the store located at 1805 W. Algonquin Rd. USDA FSIS discovered the problem through routine sampling.
November 17, 2018 Swift Beef Co. of Hyrum, UT, issued a recall for 99,260 pounds of ground beef. USDA FSIS discovered the problem through routine testing.
November 16, 2018 Majestic Meat Co. of Salt Lake City, UT issued a recall for 532 pounds of ground beef.
August 23, 2018 Cargill Meat Solutions of Fort Morgan, CO issued a recall for 25,288 pounds of ground beef. The company discovered the problem through routine testing. One month later, federal health officials identified ground beef produced at the same location as the source of an E. coli O26 outbreak. Because E. coli O26 is also a STEC, that outbreak produced severe illnesses among people in four states. Of the 18 people sickened, six developed HUS and one person died.
March 3, 2018 Interstate Meat Distributors of Clackamas, OR issued a recall for 14,806 pounds of ground beef. A third-party lab performing testing for the company discovered the problem.