Grocery chain, Hannaford, of Scarborough, Maine, is recalling an undetermined amount ground beef over Salmonella concerns, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced. The recall is over potential contamination with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium and has been deemed a Class I, which mean this recall represents a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
The various ground beef packages bear sell-by dates of December 17, 2011 or earlier that were sold at Hannaford stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS’ website. The products subject to this recall involve any size package of the following:
- “73% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef”
- “75% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef”
- “80% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef”
- “85% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef”
- “90% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef”
- “80% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef”
- • “85% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef”
- • “90% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef”
- • “85% Nature’s Place Ground Beef”
- • “90% Nature’s Place Ground Beef”
The PFGE pattern linked to this outbreak is reported rarely in the U.S., said the FSIS. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium has initially tested resistant to multiple commonly prescribed antibiotics, including drug classes such as beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, and cephalosporins. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 14 ill persons with an indistinguishable PFGE pattern; 11 reported consuming ground beef and seven were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported and 10 patients reported purchasing ground beef at Hannaford stores in Maine, New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont between October 12 and November 20. The FSIS and the CDC and its state health partners found a link between the Hannaford ground beef products and this illness outbreak.
Based on an examination of Hannaford’s limited records, FSIS was unable to determine responsible suppliers, but did recently identify this problem at the retail level and is pursuing rulemaking to address the concern.
Hannaford Customer Information Center can be reached 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., toll-free, at 1.800.213.9040, option 6. Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1.888.MPHotline (1.888.674.6854) is available in English and Spanish l0:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
The most common symptoms of Salmonella poisoning—salmonellosis—are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, with symptoms manifesting, usually, within six to 72 hours. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required.
Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in, and produce more severe or chronic illnesses. Salmonella, can be dangerous, sometimes deadly, leaving sufferers with serious life-long health issues. Salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial food borne illnesses, can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.