An unknown quantity of ground beef products potentially contaminated with a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Typhimurium has been recalled in the US, food safety authorities have announced.
Hannaford grocery store chain is recalling 10 products from its own line, after 16 people across several states were struck down with an illness related to the bacterium.
Eleven of the 16 infected reported eating ground beef in the week before their illness.
Among the 11, 10 reported buying the recalled product at a Hannaford store.
The product recall has been graded as Class 1 – meaning there is a high health risk.
To date there has been no indication of where the contamination originated. When FoodQualityNews.com pressed for information about the processing of the product, Hannaford declined to comment.
14 reported ill
“This recall was initiated due to concerns about illnesses caused by an outbreak of salmonellosis that may be associated with use and consumption of fresh in-store ground beef prepared in and purchased at Hannaford stores,” said an announcement on the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) website.
It added that the strain associated with the outbreak is rarely reported in the US.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 14 ill persons with an indistinguishable PFGE pattern, and 11 of those individuals reported consuming ground beef.”
“As a result of on-going epidemiologic and trace back investigations, as well as in-store reviews, FSIS, working with the CDC and its state health partners, determined that there is a link between the Hannaford ground beef products and this illness outbreak.”
The CDC is working with the FSIS and public health officials in several states to investigate the outbreak of multi-drug resistant Salmonella Typhimurium infections.
“On December 15, 2011, Hannaford, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, recalled an undetermined amount of fresh ground beef products that bear sell-by dates of December 12, 2011 or earlier,” said a CDC statement.
The products subject to the recall are all sized packages of various quality percentage Hannaford Regular Ground Beef, Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef and Nature’s Place Ground Beef.
Hannaford Supermarkets said in a statement that its 85% lean variety of ground beef was most common to affected individuals.
“There were instances of illness in a community that led the CDC and the USDA to investigate the source,” a Hannaford spokesperson told FoodQualityNews.com.
“It became known that several of the ill had purchased food from Hannaford stores.”
“We are still working closely with the USDA and the CDC to establish the source of the contamination.”