WASHINGTON – The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced almost 5,000 pounds of beef products shipped to Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa from Aurora Packing Company, Inc. out of North Aurora were recalled due to possible E. coli contamination.
The bulk beef products were produced and packed on Feb. 27, according to a Tuesday, March 26 news release from the USDA. The problem was discovered during "traceback activities," the release said, after testing from the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service, or FSIS.
A USDA spokesman said in an email Monday, April 1 all food recalls by a manufacturer or distributor are voluntary to protect the public from products that may cause possible illness or death. If a company refuses to recall its products, though, then FSIS has the legal authority to take those products in commerce and may issue a public health alert, the spokesman said.
“Aurora Packing Company did comply and did voluntarily recall all of the products,” Buck McKay, a USDA spokesman, said on Monday.
The release said the following products are subject to recall:
• Varying catch weight cardboard box case packages containing bulk pieces of “AURORA ANGUS BEEF BONELESS BEEF – CHUCK TENDER” and case code 61150 represented on the label.
• Varying catch weight cardboard box case packages containing bulk pieces of “BONELESS BEEF – HEEL MEAT” and case code 29970 represented on the label.
• Varying catch weight cardboard box case packages containing bulk pieces of “BONELESS BEEF – HEEL MEAT” and case code 49970 represented on the label.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 788” inside the USDA mark of inspection. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, according to the release.
The USDA said in the release symptoms of E. coli exposure usually appear within three to four days on average and include dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Most people recover within a week but some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which includes symptoms like easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output.
According to the company's website, El Ranchito Supermercado in Joliet carries the beef. U.S. Foods Stockyards Meat & Packing Company in Aurora also is a listed partner with Aurora Packing Company.
McKay said FSIS is still working on collecting all distribution information for the Aurora Packing Company beef recall and is moving as quickly as possible to do so.
“When available, we will post retail distribution information” on the FSIS website, McKay said.