Salmonella Lurking In Your Freezer?

The summer barbecue season is now long gone, but some of us might have tried to hang onto memories of fresh hamburgers on a warm day well into the holidays by freezing leftover ground beef. 

Although there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to waste food, and certainly nothing wrong with storing things in the freezer for long periods, to anyone who might have frozen ground been they purchased at Stater Bros in August or September, you might want to take a look at the beef you bought.

According to the USDA, Central Valley Meat Co., Inc., are recalling approximately 34,222 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Dublin.

The ground beef items were produced on July 23, 2019, but people only started reporting symptoms between August 8, 2019, to September 22, 2019. So far, 10 case-patients have been identified in six states having been affected by the food-borne illness.

If you have some frozen meat saved in your fridge that you were planning on using later and aren’t sure when you bought it (or are sure when you bought it and need to now double-check) take a look at the following lot numbers to make sure you are not in possession of some contaminated ground beef. The lot numbers are as follows:

1-lb. chub packages of “STATER BROS. 100% PURE GROUND BEEF 96% LEAN 4% FAT” with lot 2049 on the retail label; lot 19204 on the case label; and Use By 08-14-19.

2-lb. chub packages of “STATER BROS. 100% PURE GROUND BEEF 93% LEAN 7% FAT” with lot 2049 on the retail label; lot 19204 on the case label; and Use By 08-14-19.

20-lb. cases containing “STATER BROS 93/7 Ground Beef 10# Chub 10 Lb. Chubs/ 2 Count” with lot 19204 on the case label and Use By 08-14-19.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 6063A” printed on the retail labels next to the lot number and inside the USDA mark of inspection on the case labels. These items were shipped to retail locations in California, with Stater Bros Markets being one of the retailers who were affected. There is no word on whether anyone who shopped at the Stater Bros in Lake Arrowhead became ill. The Public Information Officer with Stater Bros Markets headquarters in San Bernardino said that the investigation is currently ongoing and that the supermarket chain officially had “no comment” on the matter as of the time of press.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

In an official statement, the USDA wanted to remind people that you should only consume ground beef that has been cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F, and noted that the only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature. 

For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg product, the USDA’s online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.