Two South Carolina meat processors are recalling ground beef products after lab test found a strain of E. coli bacteria in products distributed to wholesale and retail establishments. Lancaster Frozen Foods, Lancaster, SC, and G&W Incorporated, Hickory Grove, SC, are voluntarily recalling a total of approximately 6,908 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The testing was done by the South Carolina Meat Poultry Inspection Department (SCMPID).
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.
The following products are subject to recall:
-5-lb. bulk packages “Lancaster Frozen Foods Fresh Ground Beef” with Est. # 20 inside the SC mark of inspection.
-10-lb. boxes of beef patties “Lancaster Frozen Foods Ground Beef Patties” with Est. # 20 inside the SC mark of inspection.
-Various size tray packs of ground beef “Lancaster Frozen Foods Fresh Ground Beef”
-5-lb. bulk packages “G&W Brand Hamburger” with Est. # 30 inside the SC mark of inspection.
-10-lb. boxes of hamburger patties “G&W Brand Hamburger Patties” with Est. # 30 inside the SC mark of inspection.
-Various size packages of hamburger “G&W Brand Hamburger”
There was also one direct delivery of source material from the wholesale warehouse distributor to a retail establishment, General IGA, Walterboro, SC.
Lancaster Frozen Foods held the lot of product that was sampled, pending test results. However, additional un-ground product from the same lot of source material had been used in other production lots by establishments, prompting the recall.
Neither SCMPID nor the companies have received reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. .
SCMPID 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.