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FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Raw Ground Beef Product Due to Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination

Congressional and Public Affairs
Buck McKay (202) 720-9113
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, February 2, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert because raw beef product produced by Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc., an Omaha, Neb. establishment, may be contaminated with E. coli. O157:H7. A recall was not requested because the affected product is no longer available for purchase.

FSIS is concerned that some ground beef products may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products should not consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

The raw beef item was produced by Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc. on January 14, 2021, further processed into ground beef and sold by Art’s Food Market located in Sandwich, Illinois. The following product is subject to the public health alert: 

  • 2-lb (approximately) trays containing raw ground beef labeled with a retail label with “PACKED” dates ranging from JAN 28 2021 through JAN 31 2021.

This item was sold by the single retail location in Sandwich, Illinois. 

The problem was discovered when Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc. determined that they inadvertently distributed product associated with a sample that was positive for E. coli O157:H7. The company then notified FSIS about the affected product.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume raw ground beef product that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. The only way to confirm that raw ground beef products are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature, https://www.fsis.usda.gov/safetempchart.

Consumers and members of the media with questions about the public health alert can contact Angel Besta, VP of Technical Resources, Omaha Packing Co. Inc. at [email protected].

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to [email protected]. For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg product, the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.

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