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Ground Beef Recalled Nationwide Over Deadly Contamination, Here's What You Need To Know

Lately it seems like all the food we consume regularly are being recalled, from cereal to ground beef.

In August, products from Cargill Meat Solutions were recalled from all Publix locations after the company reported that their ground meat has been contaminated with E. Coli.

At the time only illnesses were reported, but now, the situation has taken a deadly turn.  

Everything you need to know

According to the United States Department of Agriculture and multiple news outlets, including CNN, the Colorado-based company has issued another recall for 132, 606 pounds of ground beef this week.

Reports of illnesses due to E. Coli started trickling in after those who ate the meat began to experience symptoms between July 5 and 25.

After consuming the contaminated meat products, 17 individuals became ill and one fatality has been confirmed so far.

The recalled meat is from the chuck part of the carcass produced and packaged on June 21 and distributed to retailers nationwide. The meat was inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture and the stamp on the inside reads "EST. 86R."

A complete list of retailers where the meat was sold will be released as it becomes available to the USDA.

What you should do

If you have ground meat in your freezer, you should carefully check the manufacturers name, the USDA inspection stamp, as well as the date it was produced.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service "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," according to the recall announcement.

As a rule of thumb, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat you're cooking. Make sure it reaches at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit in order to eliminate bacteria that could cause illness.

"Proper hand washing after handling raw meat, poultry and eggs can greatly reduce the risk of bacterial cross-contamination to other foods and kitchen surfaces, " the FSIS added. "It is important to prevent cross-contamination by washing counter tops and sinks with hot, soapy water."

What happens if you eat contaminated meat?

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If you suspect you've eaten recalled meat, you should get in touch with a doctor right away.

E. Coli symptoms won't always appear right away; They could take between one to 10 days after eating tainted food, but according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people become sick within three to four days.

Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), fever (less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), and vomiting. While most people will recover after about a week, around five to 10 percent develop a potentially life-threatening kidney complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

For more information about this recall, visit fsis.usda.org.

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Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.