62,000 Pounds of Beef Recalled This Weekend Over E. Coli Concerns

Memorial Day weekend is finally upon us and that means backyard grilling season in the US has officially begun.  Unfortunately, though, a recall on raw beef products might proverbially rain on everyone’s parade for the next few days. 

As recently as Wednesday, this week, Aurora Packing Co (of North Aurora, Illinois) recalled more than 62,000 pounds of raw beef products over concerns of potential E. coli contamination.  This is in addition to another recall, in the same week, from Vienna Beef (of Chicago), over concerns of metal pieces in roughly one ton of hot dogs. 

It is most unfortunate, however, that this is just the latest in a much bigger serious of recalls, particularly over E. coli concerns, over the past few years.  In April, for example, Grant Park Packing (of Franklin, Illinois) recalled more than 53,000 pounds of ground beef related products.  In the same month, Colorado Premium Foods/K2D Foods recalled more than 113,000 pounds of ground-beef over plastic contamination worries.  Also, JBS Plainwell (of Plainwell, Michigan) and AdvancedPierre Foods (of Enid, Oklahoma) recalled at least 43,000 and 23,000 pounds of frozen ground beef products, respectively.

Of course, foreign contamination is not something you can correct at home, so those who may be affected by this type of issue definitely need to bring their beef back to the store or simply throw it away.  At the same time, E. coli contamination is something that can be remedied simply by thoroughly cooking your food. Obviously, it is best to follow the recall warning and instructions, should you have E. coli contamination concerns. 

E. coli infection is generally mild. Symptoms include stomach cramping, dehydration, nausea, and diarrhea.  While most people can recover within a week—with little medical intervention—a severe infection can result in kidney failure.  Because it can be deadly, it is important to see a doctor if you believe you have contracted E. coli. In response to the remarkably large recall, the beef industry assures it is reducing foodborne pathogens throughout the supply chain.  The National Cattleman’s Beef Association, for example, comments, “Since 1993, cattle farmers and ranchers have invested tens of millions of dollars in safety research programs and the industry as a whole invests over $500 million, annually, in beef safety research, testing, and technology implementation.  Nothing is more important to the beef industry than the safety of our cons