By: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Just days before Americans across the country are expected to fire up their grills for Memorial Day, an Illinois company recalled thousands of pounds of raw beef sold nationwide due to a possible E. coli contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday.
The more than 62,000 pounds of recalled beef, packaged April 19 by the North Aurora-based Aurora Packing Company, Inc., was shipped nationwide for further distribution and processing, officials said.
The recall encompasses more than 40 beef products, including several cuts of meat, all of which have “EST. 788” written inside the USDA mark of inspection, according to officials.
Officials with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Wednesday they were concerned that some of the recalled beef might be in the freezers of institutional facilities.
Anyone who believes they have beef that falls under the recall should throw it away or return it to the place of purchase, according to the USDA.
The possible E. coli contamination was discovered during traceback activities in response to random sample testing conducted by FSIS, officials said.
E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most people who are exposed to the organism recover within a week, but some people develop a potentially deadly type of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, according to health officials. The condition often surfaces about a week after infection symptoms present and include the loss of pink color in the cheeks and inside the lower eyelids, easy bruising and a decreased frequency of urination.
The USDA recommended anyone who experiences such symptoms seek medical care.