The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert for ground beef that might be contaminated with a strain of E. coli. It’s not technically a recall, however, since the Frank’s Butcher Shop Ground Beef product is no longer available for purchase.
However, consumers who bought the ground beef while it was in stores might still have some in their freezers. The meat poses a health risk and should be discarded or returned immediately.
Frank’s ground beef recall
The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) FSIS issued a public health alert for one type of Frank’s ground beef products. The FSIS announcement is available at this link.
The company produced the raw ground beef items on October 4th. You’ll need to check for the following identifiers to determine whether your beef is included in this recall-like action:
- 1-lb. plastic vacuum-packed packages containing “FRANK’S BUTCHER SHOP GROUND BEEF” with “PACKED ON” dates of 10-07-2022 and 10-09-2022 on the label
The establishment’s retail store in Hudson, Wyoming, sold the product directly to consumers. FBS Hudson has been attempting to contact consumers who may have purchased the affected ground beef.
FBS Hudson discovered the problem during routine testing and alerted the FSIS. Microbial test results returned a positive result for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O103 in a sample.
E. coli infection risks
The FSIS health alert indicates there were no confirmed reports of illness associated with Frank’s ground beef product.
Also, the announcement says that most clinical labs do not test for non-O157 STEC like O103 because they’re harder to identify. E. coli O157:H7 is the strain of concern. It caused an outbreak of at least 109 cases over the summer that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently concluded.
Frank’s ground beef product isn’t the first to see contamination with E. coli. We’ve covered plenty of similar recalls or health alerts, including both O103 and O157:H7 strains.
But STEC O103 can lead to illness also. People can develop diarrhea which may be bloody, and vomiting about 3-4 days after consuming contaminated products. The illness should pass within a week without antibiotic treatment. Instead, vigorous rehydration and supportive care are recommended.
Some people can develop severe complications in E. coli cases. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a type of kidney failure associated with the disease. But it’s uncommon for STEC O103. HUS can appear in people of any age.
It’s most common in children under five years old, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. The condition requires immediate emergency care.
What you should do
The FSIS urges buyers who purchased Frank’s ground beef product from this recall-like health alert not to consume it. Instead, they should throw away the meat or return it to the place of purchase.
FSIS also advises buyers to prepare any raw meat products safely. For ground beef, the meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F.