Ground beef potentially contaminated with E. coli, USDA warns


(NEW YORK) — A public health alert has been issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service for ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.

Raw ground beef produced by Greater Omaha Packing Co., Inc. on March 28, 2024, is no longer available for purchase so “a recall was not requested.” Still, the government agency issued an alert last week to warn consumers and food service institutions who may have the product in their freezers.

“Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them and food service institutions are urged not to serve these products,” the USDA alert stated. “These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

The beef products have a “Use/Freeze by” date of April 22, 2024, and a packaging date of “032824.”

Click here for the full list of products subject to the public health alert with additional label information from FSIS here.

The products have an establishment number, “EST. 960A,” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

“The problem was discovered by the establishment while conducting an inventory of product that was on hold because it was found positive for E. coli O157:H7,” the USDA stated. “The company notified FSIS that they inadvertently used a portion of the contaminated beef to produce ground beef products that they subsequently shipped into commerce.”

At the time of publication, there have been no confirmed reports of illness due to the consumption of these products.

Greater Omaha Packing Co., Inc. did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for additional comment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some E. coli can cause diarrhea, and germs can spread through contaminated food or water.

Anyone can get sick from E. coli, but adults over the age of 65, children younger than 5 and people with weakened immune systems, have an increased chance of infection.

Symptoms of E. coli, which can usually last five to seven days, include “diarrhea, which can be bloody, and most have stomach cramps that may be severe,” according to the CDC, as well as vomiting and possible high fever.

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