JBS Tolleson, Inc. in Tolleson, AZ has recalled 6,937,195 pounds (more than 3,400 tons) of raw beef products due to possible Salmonella contamination. JBS touts itself as the “largest animal protein company in the world.”
On September 5, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) was notified about a cluster of Salmonella Newport illnesses that involved several different FSIS-regulated products. One consumer was able to provide a store receipt to USDA on September 19. After that, FSIS was able to start a traceback investigation focusing on ground beef products.
As of USDA’s latest update, eight patients have been able to provide either receipts or shopper loyalty card details to aid in the traceback investigation. That investigation has led USDA FSIS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and various public health officials to believe that raw ground beef was the most likely source of the reported illnesses.
Also, it is important to note that 29 days passed between USDA's learning of the illnesses and USDA's first announcement of a product recall linked to those illnesses.
The epidemiological investigation has identified 57 illnesses in 16 states. JBS was the common supplier of ground beef products consumed by the ill victims, all of whom fell ill between August 5 and September 6. FSIS will continue to work with public health partners and will provide updated information should it become available.
The raw beef products were packaged on various dates between July 26, 2018 and Sept. 7, 2018. See USDA’s official list of recalled products and affected retailers. FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.