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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Friday, November 28, 2014

Beef Recall Now Includes Sam's Club Products

The recall of approximately 826,000 pounds of ground beef
products that may be linked to an outbreak of illness from Salmonella
Newport, distributed by Beef Packers, a Fresno,Calif.,
establishment, now includes ground beef sold at Sam’s Club stores in
Colorado, according to officials at the Colorado Department of Public
Health and Environment.

Recalled meet sold at Colorado Sam’s Clubs would have the original Beef Packers user freeze-by dates of July 6, 2009, and July 8, 2009, and all meat was 90 percent lean.

Most people became ill during late June and early July, with the most
recent illness occurring July 13. The ground beef products associated
with the known cases were produced on various dates ranging from June 5,
2009, through June 23, 2009, and bear the establishment number “EST.
31913″ printed on the case code labels.

The ground beef products were distributed to retail distribution centers in Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah.

State health officials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and several
other state health departments have been investigating an outbreak of
infections that are resistant to several commonly used antibiotics.
Twenty-one illnesses in Colorado have been reported in the following
counties: Arapahoe (3), Broomfield (3), Denver (3), Douglas (1), Elbert
(1), Garfield (1), Jefferson (5), Mesa (1), Pueblo (1) and Weld (2).
Four people have been hospitalized, and all are recovering.

Of the 21 confirmed cases in Colorado, one person reported having purchased the ground beef product at a Sam’s Club.

Because these products were repackaged into consumer-sized packages and
sold under different retail brand names, consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall.

Daniel Rifkin, wholesale food program manager with the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment, advises consumers to check
their freezers for any recalled product and discard it because of the
potential to contaminate hands or the kitchen with the meat. The product
also can be returned to place of purchase.

Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can result in abdominal
cramping, diarrhea and fever. Most people infected with Salmonella
develop symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually
lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment.
However, anyone experiencing symptoms such as severe diarrhea should
contact a physician. In some individuals, diarrhea may be so severe that
the patient needs to be hospitalized. In rare circumstances, infection
with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream
and producing more severe illnesses.

The very young, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are the
most susceptible to foodborne illness; however, anyone can be infected
with Salmonella.

Consumers with food safety questions also can contact “Ask Karen,” the
Food Safety and Inspection Service 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 and
can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through
Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the Beef Packers,
Inc. Consumer Line at 877-872-3635. Media with questions should contact
company director of communications Rebecca Hayne at 316-291-2126. For
more information about food safety, also call the Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment’s Consumer Protection Division at
303-692-3620.

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