Illinois-based Grant Park Packing recalled 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef products that might be contaminated with E. coli as the multi-agency investigation into the current 10-state outbreak continues.
The recall was announced around 1:45 a.m. Thursday, nearly 24 hours after Colorado Premium Foods yanked 113,424 pounds of raw ground beef that went to restaurant distributors in Florida and Georgia.
Though both recalls are related to the E. coli outbreak that has sickened three in Florida and 156 in 10 states — 139 of which are in Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee — no definitive source has been named other than “raw ground beef.”
The Grant Park Packing beef went to Minnesota distributors and Kentucky for “institutional use,” a broad term that could mean anything from schools to prisons. The USDA written recall notice says the Kentucky Department of Public Health was assisting the USDA and CDC
“Unopened, intact, packages of ground beef collected as part of the ongoing investigation tested positive for E. coli O103 at a (USDA Food Safety Inspection Service) laboratory,” the notice said. “The sample was collected at a point of service where multiple case patients ate. At this time, there is no definitive link between this positive product and the ongoing E. coli O103 outbreak. Further traceback and product analysis continues to determine if the recalled products are related to the E. coli O103 outbreak.”
This form of E. coli has hospitalized 20 of the 156 people sickened, none of which have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the kidney failure that can kill E. coli sufferers.