Hannaford, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, is recalling an undetermined amount of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Dec. 15.
The products subject to recall are any size package of the following:
"73% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef"
"75% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef"
"80% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef"
"85% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef"
"90% Hannaford Regular Ground Beef"
"80% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef"
"85% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef"
"90% Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef"
"85% Nature's Place Ground Beef"
"90% Nature's Place Ground Beef"
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. The PFGE pattern associated with this outbreak is reported rarely in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported 14 ill persons with an indistinguishable PFGE pattern, and 11 of those individuals reported consuming ground beef. Seven individuals were hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Ten of the 14 case-patients reported purchasing ground beef at Hannaford stores in Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont between Oct. 12 and Nov. 20. No other product description is available at this time. As a result of on-going epidemiologic and traceback 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. FSIS is continuing to work with CDC, public health partners in the affected states and the company on the investigation. FSIS will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
The various ground beef packages bear sell-by dates of Dec. 17, 2011 or earlier and were sold at Hannaford stores throughout Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS' website.
The outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium has initially tested resistant to multiple commonly prescribed antibiotics, including drug classes such as beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, and cephalosporins. Additional information on drug resistance will be made public as it becomes available.
Based on an examination of Hannaford's limited records, FSIS was unable to determine responsible suppliers. FSIS recently identified this problem at the retail level and is pursuing rulemaking to address the concern. This recall is being issued as part of a continuing investigation. FSIS has not yet been able to identify FSIS-regulated suppliers of raw beef ground at Hannaford Stores related to the outbreak that could be subject to recall action.
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or those undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. 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.
Customers who have questions are encouraged to call the Hannaford Customer Information Center, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at (800) 213-9040, and choose option 6. Media with questions regarding the recall can contact the company's Director of Corporate Communications, Michael Norton, at (207) 885-3132.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.