Don’t be upset with this reminder. At least don’t eat the ground beef Lakeside Refrigerated Services is now recalling. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), this recall is expected to affect approximately 120,872 pounds of ground beef products. That’s enough beef to make about 480,000 quarter pounds, 960,000 small tacos, or one ridiculously large taco, depending on how much lettuce you use. The reason? Potential contamination with a nasty bacteria named E.coli O103 which was detected during routine FSIS testing.
Here’s a tweet from USDA’s FSIS:
So check your meat. See if any of the ground beef products in your freezer, refrigerator, meat truck, or wherever you store your meat are on the list provided by the USDA’s FSIS announcement. As you can see, this list includes ground beef brands such as Thomas Farms, Nature’s Reserve, Marketside Butcher, Tajima, SEG, and Weis that have been sold at Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, Winn-Dixie, and other stores. similar. Look for the establishment number “EST. 46841” in the USDA Inspection and Production Mark from February 1, 2022 through April 8, 2022.
E.coli O103 is not one of those nice and friendly Escherichia coli bacteria. It is a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), which means it can produce Shiga toxin. If ever a chef asked you, “would you like Shiga toxin with that”, just say no, step back and think of an excuse to leave the restaurant. This powerful type of toxin can do one or more real numbers on your body. Typically, you’ll develop symptoms two to eight days after ingesting a STEC, as I’ve covered for Forbes in April 2019. Common symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, often bloody diarrhea. And in this case, “bloody” is not a British expletive. Your loose poop may contain real blood. Although there is a good chance that you will recover within a week, in rare cases you can progress to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Your risk of HUS increases if you are a child under five (as opposed to an adult who behaves as if you are under five), an elderly person (eg, over 65), or if you have an immune system. If you start to turn pale, bruise easily, and produce less urine than normal, contact your doctor immediately as this may be a sign of HUS.
So far, this ground beef recall is a precautionary measure and not due to any reported illnesses. And it’s unclear what percentage of the more than 120,000 oxen were actually contaminated. Nevertheless, finding E.coli O103 anywhere in the production process would be grounds for a beef recall.