The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a warning yesterday. More than 188 tons of ground beef are being recalled by Commercial Meat Co. in Los Angeles because of possible contamination with the E.Coli bacterium.
The ground beef, which was produced from Sept. 7 to Oct. 6, was mainly shipped to restaurants in California and Nevada as well as "one federal establishment in California" says the FDA. However, routine monitoring of products from Commercial Meat revealed the E.Coli bacteria in bulk packages of ground beef, including patties, taco meat and beef chili products.
No injuries have been reported so far, but the FSIS warns that the E.coli bacterium can cause illness, including bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in severe cases, kidney failure. Foodborne illnesses can be especially dangerous for the very young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
Food safety experts, including those at Consumer Reports, recommend that consumers continue to follow best food safety practices when handling raw meat. Harmful bacteria are typically killed at high temperatures (160-degree Fahrenheit or higher), so experts continue to advise consumer to avoid under-cooked meats, at home or when ordering at a restaurant.
For more tips, see Consumer Reports' Food Safety Guide which includes How to avoid the most dangerous food-prep mistakes and outlines the nine foods to handle with extreme care.