(LEX 18) — Federal officials issued an urgent alert Thursday for the recall of thousands of pounds of ground beef shipped to Kentucky amid an ongoing outbreak of potentially deadly bacteria.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Illinois-based Grant Park Packing was recalling more than 53,000 pounds of raw ground beef over fears it could be contaminated with E coli.
According to department, the 40-pound boxes are labeled as coming from North Star Imports & Sales, LLC and marked “for institutional use only.”
The packages also have a lot code of “GP.1051.18” and packaging dates of Oct. 30, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2018.
The department says this is a “class I recall,” its most urgent classification: “This is a health hazard situation where there is reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
The bacteria can cause severe symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, and in some cases life-threatening dehydration and kidney failure. The elderly, children and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk.
The department also notes that Kentucky health officials as well as those with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already are investigating an ongoing outbreak of E. coli in the commonwealth. It was not yet established that the recalled beef is connected to the outbreak, officials said.