More than 54,000 kilograms of ground beef recalled in US over E coli fears

Health agency urges Americans to discard contaminated products that could be in refrigerators or freezers

E coli, or Escherichia coli, can cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting. Reuters

More than 54,000 kilograms of ground beef are being recalled in the US due to fears that the product may be contaminated with E coli, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said on Wednesday.

E coli, or Escherichia coli, can cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting and is transmitted through contact with humans or animals, or through contaminated food or water, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said. Some infections can be more severe.

The FSIS announced it had recalled 54,826kg of ground beef from Lakeside Refrigerated Services in Swedesboro, New Jersey. The products were produced from February 1 to April 8, 2022.

The ground beef products being recalled will have the established mark “EST. 46841" under the USDA mark of inspection. The products were shipped to retail locations across the US.

The FSIS said it was concerned many Americans could have potentially contaminated ground beef sitting in their refrigerators or freezers.

“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” the agency said.

There have been no confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions to the consumption of the ground beef, the notice said.

People can become ill from the O103 strain of the “Shiga toxin-producing E coli (STEC)” after two to eight days.

Those diagnosed with STEC O103 may experience diarrhoea and vomiting, though most recover within a week. Some, however, can develop a more serious condition known as haemolytic uremic syndrome.

“Haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, is uncommon with STEC O103 infection,” the FSIS said.

HUS symptoms include easy bruising, a sickly pallor and decreased urine output. The FSIS urged people experiencing these symptoms to immediately seek emergency medical attention.

Updated: April 27, 2022, 4:05 PM