Greater Omaha Packing Company Recalls 300,000 Pounds of Raw Beef For E. coli Contamination
On July 29, 2021, Greater Omaha Packing, based in Omaha, Nebraska, recalled 295,236 pounds of raw beef after routine samples taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) returned positive for the presence of E. coli O157:H7. This is a Class I Recall, which means that there is a high to medium risk that coming into contact with or consuming the recalled product will result in serious adverse health consequences.
The recalled meat was raw beef intended for non-intact use. The FSIS defines ‘non-intact’ as one of the two processing categories in which meat is further processed “by using…steps such as grinding, comminuting, injecting product with solutions, or mechanical tenderization by needling, cubing, pounding devices or other means of creating non-intact product”. Pre-made raw beef patties are an example of a finished non-intact meat product. Non-intact meat processing, though efficient for consumers’ use, can be dangerous as it causes large quantities and cuts of meat to be mixed together. If one portion of the meat in the mix is contaminated with bacteria, such as E. coli, then the whole lot of the non-intact meat mixture can become contaminated too. This is the reason that ground beef recalls typically include hundreds of thousands of pounds in a single recall.
The recalled raw beef products of Greater Omaha Packing were produced on July 13, 2021. A complete list of the recalled items and their codes can be found here. All the recalled items bear the establishment number “EST. 960A” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
Anyone in possession of a recalled raw beef product listed above is directed to promptly dispose of it or return it to its original place of purchase.
Consumption of food or drink contaminated with E. coli can cause moderate to severe gastrointestinal illness inflicting symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Healthy individuals typically recover from E. coli infection within 3-4 days on average, however people with weakened immune systems, elderly or infants can experience dangerous complications, such as severe dehydration or a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
The FSIS will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the recall and will post the recall distribution list(s) when it becomes available here.