Walmart Recalls 6 Different Ground Beef Products Amid E-Coli Concerns

By: Lauren | Published: May 07, 2024

The US Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced that several different ground meat products sold at Walmarts throughout twelve states may be contaminated.

They found traces of E. coli in meat that was supposed to be a “segregated product” but, later, they realized was used in nearly 16,243 pounds of far beef. The FSIS is urging Americans to check their fridges and freezers to ensure they remove any of the contaminated meat immediately.

The Recalled Meat From Walmart

The FSIS released the statement on May 1, 2024, announcing that more than 16,000 pounds of ground beef from Cargill Meat Solutions in Pennsylvania may be contaminated with E. coli.

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Six photographs of the Cargill Meat Solutions products that were recently recalled by the FSIS

Source: @CBS4Local/X

The six products from Cargill Meat include their “93% Lean 7% Fat All Natural Ground Beef, “ Prime Rib Beef Steak Burger Patties,” “85% Lean 15% Fat All Natural Angus Premium Ground Beef,” 80% Lean 20% Fat All Natural Ground Beef Chuck,” 80% Lean 20% Fat All Natural Ground Beef Chuck Patties,” and “90% Lean 10% Fat All Natural Ground Beef Sirloin Patties.”

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The Recalled Beef Was Sent to Walmarts in 12 States

The original recall stated that the contaminated beef had been distributed to Walmarts all around the country. But Cargill has since announced that it tracked the beef in question, and it only made its way to 12 states.

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A long grocery cart outside of a Walmart Store

Source: Depositphotos

This includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Ohio, and New York.

The USDA Had Already Approved the Cargill Meat

The FSIS also explained that the recalled Cargill Meat would have the USDA mark of inspection with the establishment number “EST. 86P.”

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The logo for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

Source: USDA

While the USDA had checked and passed the meat, the FSIS found E. coli during a secondary routine test. Although it may sound surprising that the USDA could miss such a contaminate, recalls are actually extremely common. There were 65 food recalls in the USA in 2023, five of which were related to E. coli.

What Is E. Coli?

E. coli or Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria that, when ingested, lives in the intestines and can cause infections in the GI and urinary tracts.

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A close-up photo of E. coli bacteria under a microscope

Source: Freepik

While some people who ingest E. coli don’t experience any symptoms, it can be quite dangerous for others.

Where Does E. Coli Come From?

The dangerous bacteria most often come from contaminated food or water, especially raw ground beef, raw milk, and unclean vegetables.

A stack of three raw burger patties on a wooden chopping board

Source: iStock

E. coli is most often found in animal feces. If an animal defecates near vegetables, nearly invisibly remnants can be found on the skin if the produce is not washed properly. Raw meat, on the other hand, is often contaminated in the slaughterhouse, where bodily fluids, such as feces, are in the air.

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Symptoms of E. Coli Infection

Some people contract E. coli and naturally pass the bacteria without noticing any symptoms, but that’s not always the case. According to the CDC, the most common symptoms are stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea, which often contains blood.

Parents sit with their young sick child in the hospital

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While for most people, these symptoms will pass in about a week, others experience more severe infections. The bacteria can cause extreme urinary tract infections, kidney failure, and pneumonia. The risk of developing a serious condition from E. coli is much higher in children than it is in adults.

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Call the Doctor If Any E. Coli Symptoms Present

Typically, a person who has contracted E. coli will begin to see symptoms within three to four days, though they can start anywhere from one to ten days after exposure.

A woman looks concerned while speaking to someone on the phone

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Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately, especially if the diarrhea has lasted for more than three days, the person has decreased urine output, or if they cannot keep down liquids.

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There Have Been No Confirmed Reports of Illness from Cargill Meat

Fortunately, the FSIS reported, “There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of” the more than 16,000 pounds of meat from Cargill Meat Solutions.

Entry sign for the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Source: iStock

However, the CDC and the USDA are still on high alert in case the situation changes. Hopefully, with the recall, the vast majority of the raw meat will be disposed of before it can make anyone sick.

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Check the Fridge and Freezer Now

The FSIS urged all Americans, but especially those living in the twelve affected states, to check their refrigerators and freezers right now for any of the recalled Cargill Meat ground beef.

A woman in an orange shirt looks inside her refrigerator

Source: Freepik

Some Walmart stores may offer a refund for the product, but even without getting one’s money back, it’s crucial that the meat be disposed of to ensure no one accidentally eats it.

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Be Cautious When Cooking Raw Meat

While the USDA and FSIS do everything they can to ensure the products Americans purchase are safe for consumption, raw meat, including ground beef, poultry, and seafood, is the most common source of contaminants.

A woman in a teal sweater shopping for ground beef at the grocery store

Source: iStock

Therefore, as consumers, it’s essential that people shop and cook their meat responsibly. Packages of raw meat should be kept separate from other food in the shopping cart, grocery bags, and refrigerators. Additionally, one must ensure that meat products are cooked properly.

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It’s Always Important to Keep an Eye on the FSIS Recalls

As mentioned, the Cargill Meat Solutions recall is just one of dozens of recalls over the last year.

A woman checks her laptop while preparing dinner in her kitchen

Source: Freepik

The USDA and the FSIS do their best to spread information as quickly and efficiently as possible, but consumers should still be vigilant about checking the FSIS recall website on a regular basis.

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