FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Ground Beef Products Due To Possible Salmonella Contamination

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)has issued a public health alert due to illnesses from Salmonella Newport associated with fresh ground beef products contaminated with multi-drug resistant Salmonella that may have been ground and sold at Safeway supermarkets in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico between Sept. 19 and Nov. 5, 2007.
calendar icon 24 December 2007
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This public health alert was initiated after epidemiological investigations and a case control study conducted by the California Department of Public Health, Arizona Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, determined that there is an association between the fresh ground beef products and 38 illnesses reported in Arizona (16), California (18), Idaho (1) and Nevada (3).

The illnesses were linked through the epidemiological investigation by their rare PFGE pattern found in PulseNet, a database maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TheUSDA said the alert was being issued after an exhaustive and continuing investigation whereby FSIS could not identify specific establishments, lots and products that would be subject to a recall. FSIS said it has no reason to believe that the products are still available for sale in in shops.

"Consumers that may have purchased these fresh ground beef products between Sept. 19 and Nov. 5, 2007, and stored them in the freezer should look for and discard or destroy these products if they find them," said FSIS.

This particular strain of Salmonella is resistant to many commonly prescribed drugs, which can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.


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