ST. GEORGE — A recall of raw beef feared to be potentially tainted with salmonella was expanded Tuesday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The recall, which was originally issued in October, brings the amount of recalled beef products to more than 12 million pounds, doubling the amount covered in the original recall.
According to a press release from the Department of Agriculture, the Arizona unit of Brazil’s JBS issued the expanded recall after it was discovered that three new cases of illness were caused by ground beef products that were not a part of the original recall.
The raw beef products subject to the recall were packaged between July 26 and Sept. 7 and have “EST 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
Those who may be keeping beef products included in the recall in their freezers are advised not eat the meat and throw it out.
The salmonella outbreak has spread across 25 states with 246 confirmed cases reported between August and mid-October. The Associated Press reports that while 59 people have been hospitalized, thus far no deaths have been reported.
Salmonella is one of the most common food-borne bacteria, according to the USDA. Eating contaminated meat can lead to symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated products. The symptoms can last between four and seven days.
While most people can recover without treatment, some may still end up hospitalized if they experience severe cases of diarrhea. Infants, older adults and individuals with weakened immune systems are considered to be at risk to develop a severe illness, according to the USDA.
“Salmonella is prevalent and can be present in raw poultry and meat – no raw poultry or meat is sterile,” the USDA stated in the press release.
“In addition to discarding the product associated with this recall, consumers can protect themselves now and in the future by ALWAYS cooking their raw meat to a safe internal temperature, which is measured by using a food thermometer. The cooking process kills the Salmonella.”
The USDA advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only eat ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Other cuts of beef should be cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit and allowed to sit for at least three minutes.
The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.
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