Outdoor burger season may be coming to a close, but that doesn't mean you should be any less vigilant about your safe cooking practices—especially with the news that more than 12 tons (25,288 pounds) of raw ground beef were recalled for possible E. coli contamination.
The recall only affects 10-pound chubs of "EXCEL 93/7 FINE GRIND GROUND BEEF" that were produced and packed by Colorado-based Cargill Meat Solutions on August 16 and shipped to warehouses in Colorado and California, according to an announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The beef in question has a "use/freeze by" date of September 5, 2018 on the label. The recalled products also read "EST. 86R” inside the USDA's mark of inspection.
Cargill discovered the issue on August 22 when it reviewed its records and found that some of its product may have been associated with another product that was presumed to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, a strain that can cause particularly severe illnesses. However, there have not been any reports of illnesses to date.
As SELF wrote previously, E. coli can cause diarrhea that may be bloody, among other symptoms.
In addition to diarrhea, according to the Mayo Clinic, an E. coli infection may come with abdominal cramping or pain and nausea or vomiting.
Most otherwise healthy adults are able to get over an E. coli infection in about a week without any special treatment. But in severe cases, an infection can become serious—even deadly. One particularly serious complication of an E. coli infection is called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a life-threatening form of kidney failure.
So if you're experiencing any symptoms of dehydration or your symptoms aren't improving (especially if your diarrhea is severe, persistent, or bloody), it's important to get medical attention.
The FSIS is urging consumers to avoid eating the recalled products and instead throw them out or return them to where they were purchased. This is also a great time to brush up on your basic food safety rules, which include making sure your ground beef is cooked up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill bacteria.