Food Poisoning in Massachusetts, Six Other States Prompts Recall

groundbeef.jpgA Minnesota company has recalled nearly 30,000 pounds of fresh ground beef products amid a seven-state Salmonella outbreak which has infected 33 consumers, including in Massachusetts.

Cargill Meat Solutions recalled the 29,339 pounds of ground beef packaged at its Wyalusing, Pa. operation Sunday, saying the food products may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. Hannaford Supermarkets is alerting consumers that ground beef purchased from its stores may be contaminated. The Maine-based grocer has stores in Massachusetts, including in Marlborough, Quincy, Lowell and Saugus.

The contamination was uncovered during an investigation into the Salmonella outbreak, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The 33 people with food poisoning came from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont. Cargill packaged the meat for sale throughout the Northeast, but so far, Hannaford is the only store to alert its customers.

Hannaford is asking customers to look out for 85-percent ground beef produced by Cargill’s. They have “use or sell-by” dates between May 29 and June 16. The Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak strain is drug sensitive, meaning it can be treated with antibiotics.

Click here for more information on the Cargill ground beef recall.

Preventing Salmonella Food Poisoning
Salmonella is one of the most common types of food poisoning and it has many different strains. There are an estimated 1.2 million cases annually in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are approximately 400 fatal Salmonella poisonings each year.

Salmonella causes diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever among other symptoms, which typically emerge in between 12 and 72 hours. The elderly, sick and people with weakened immune systems are usually most vulnerable
Salmonella is transmitted when food or beverages have been contaminated with feces from animals or humans. It can result when food is handled by someone who has not washed their hands or during processing of animal products, such as beef, poultry, milk or eggs. After food is contaminated, Salmonella will expand if not refrigerated. Fully cooking meat will kill any Salmonella contamination.

You can prevent Salmonella food poisoning by refrigerating or freezing chicken, beef, poultry and eggs within two hours of purchasing. When handling food, wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, fish and poultry and keep them separate from each other. Use a food thermometer to cook raw meat and poultry to safe temperatures for consuming, which is 160 degrees fahrenheit for beef and pork and 165 degrees for poultry.


  • Salmonella, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Salmonella Serotype Enteritidis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Cargill recalls more than 29,000 pounds of ground beef sold in Northeast over salmonella, CBS News.
  • Media Advisory: Cargill Ground Beef Recall, Hannaford.

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Preventing Food Poisoning After Ground Beef Recall

groundbeef.jpgA Northeastern grocery store chain has recalled various packages of ground beef after 14 people have been infected with an antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella.

Hannaford, of Scarborough, Maine, issued the voluntary recall Thursday, Dec. 15, for an undetermined amount of fresh ground beef that may be contaminated with Salmonella Typhimurium. This strain of Salmonella is resistant to treatment by many antibiotics, including drug classes such as beta-lactams and aminoglycosides. Seven of the 14 people who suffered food poisoning were hospitalized.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has classified the recall Class 1 with a high health risk. This classification means there is a reasonable probability that use of a product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The grocer recalled 10 different types of ground beef, ranging from 73 percent to 90 percent. Hannaford said most of the affected individuals had consumed 85 percent. The affected packages have the sell-by date of Dec. 17, 2011 or earlier. They were sold at Hannaford stores in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Hannaford is offering consumers a full refund.

The ground beef involved in the food poisoning outbreak was sold under the brand names of Hannaford, Taste of Inspirations and Nature’s Place.

The USDA is reminding consumers to check their freezers as well as refrigerators as it continues to investigate.

The USDA said Hannaford kept limited records regarding the source of the ground beef and it is unable to determine the responsible supplier. The government agency said it will pursue rulemaking to address this problem in the future.

Salmonella is one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. It can be life-threatening in individuals with weak immune systems, such as the elderly. Common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting. The food poisoning symptoms can start within 12 to 72 hours of food consumption and last up to seven days.

Preventing Salmonella
The USDA advises consumers to take special care in handling ground beef to avoid Salmonella.

Wash Your Hands. Consumers are urged to wash their hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.

Separate. Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other foods that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for different meats and egg products.

Cook Properly. Cook meat to safe internal temperatures. The safe internal temperature for beef and pork is 160 degrees Fahrenheit and 165 degrees for poultry. Use a food thermometer to check.

Refrigerate Immediately. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours of purchase or one hour if kept in temperatures of 90 degrees or greater.

Click here to read the full USDA notice on the Hannaford Ground Beef Recall.
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