SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The Hannaford grocery chain is recalling an undetermined amount of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella.
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.
The products subject to recall are any size package of the following:
• 73 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
• 75 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
• 80 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
• 85 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
• 90 percent Hannaford Regular Ground Beef
• 80 percent Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef
• 85 percent Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef
• 90 percent Taste of Inspirations Angus Ground Beef
• 85 percent Nature’s Place Ground Beef
• 90 percent Nature’s Place Ground Beef
The 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, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, which announced the recall on Friday.
The DNA pattern associated with the outbreak is reported rarely in the U.S. and the strain of Salmonella Typhimurium has initially tested resistant to multiple commonly prescribed antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 14 ill people with an indistinguishable strain pattern and 11 of those individuals reported consuming ground beef. Seven individuals were hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.
Ten of the 14 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 trace-back investigations, as well as in-store reviews, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, 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 service is continuing to work with CDC, public health partners in the affected states and the company on the investigation.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
The agency and Hannaford stores are concerned that contaminated meat may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on FSIS’ website at www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.
The food safety agency has not yet been able to identify federally regulated suppliers of raw beef ground at Hannaford Stores related to the outbreak that could be subject to recall action.
Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and people with HIV 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.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service 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 degrees 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.
Customer 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.
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 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.