Another food recall hits the streets, this time, for more than 60,000 pounds of ground beef packages that could be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Grocery stores Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Publix Super Markets Inc. and Kroger Co. have announced the recalls for a large part of the southeastern United States.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the recall after routine testing by the Ohio Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of bacteria.
The recall is mostly for product that was sold in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee. However, potentially contaminated meat was sent out for distribution set for sale nationwide.
So far there have been no reported illnesses due to the ground beef. E. coli can be deadly and can produce symptoms from bloody diarrhea, dehydration and more.
For specific product code numbers for the ground beef recall, visit the USDA.
Stay safe in your kitchen
When you prepare meat at home, take steps to help ensure it's a safe experience.
The following tips from the National Institute of Health (NIH) are just some ways to help prevent harmful bacteria from growing in food. Read the NIH's entire list
- Refrigerate foods promptly. If prepared food stands at room temperature for more than two hours, it may not be safe to eat. Set your refrigerator at 40 degrees F or lower and your freezer at 0 degrees F.
- Cook food to the appropriate internal temperature—145 degrees F for roasts, steaks, and chops of beef, veal, and lamb; 160 degrees F for pork, ground veal, and ground beef; 165 degrees F for ground poultry; and 180 degrees F for whole poultry.
- Use a meat thermometer to be sure. Foods are properly cooked only when they are heated long enough and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause illnesses.
- Prevent cross-contamination. Bacteria can spread from one food product to another throughout the kitchen and can get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and countertops. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from all ready-to-eat foods.
- Wash sponges and dish towels weekly in hot water in the washing machine.
- Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
- Never defrost food on the kitchen counter. Use the refrigerator, cold running water, or the microwave oven.
- Divide large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
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