On Monday, April 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Lakeside Refrigerated Services’s recall of 120, 872 pounds of its ground beef, due to a concern of E. coli O103 contamination.
The products of concern were produced between February 1, 2022, and April 8, 2022. All of the recalled products bear the establishment number “EST. 46841” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Lakeside Refrigerated Services is based in Swedesboro, New Jersey, however, the recalled products were distributed to various states nationwide, including PA, TX, CT, FL, LA, CA, IL, NC, NY, WA, VA, SC, and MA.
The potential for E. coli contamination of Lakeside Refrigerated Services’ ground beef products was discovered during a routine FSIS food safety testing. The FSIS reports that “most clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) such as O103 because it is harder to identify than STEC O157:H7”, however, this routine testing did and revealed the presence of E. coli O103. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) affirms this, explaining, “identification of non-O157 STEC infections is more complex” and thus, “there are limited public health surveillance data on the occurrence of non-O157 STECs.”
According to FSIS, people usually become ill 3-4 days after consuming a STEC contaminated food. Most healthy individuals are able to recover from E. coli infection without medical treatment, however, those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and infants are at a greater risk for serious infection and complications, such as bloody stools and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. The development of HUS is indicated by bruising, pallor, and decreased urine production. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
To date, there have been no reported illnesses connected with the E. coli O103 contamination of Lakeside Refrigerated Services ground beef products. Anyone who is in possession of the recalled products is directed to return them to their place of purchase or dispose of them. For a complete list of the recalled ground beef products and images of their labels, see visit the USDA website here.