Publix Super Markets, in cooperation with regulatory agencies, has issued a voluntary recall related to ground chuck products that may be contaminated with E. coli O26 that was supplied by a yet-to-be determined source.
According to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), there are 15 E. coli cases in Florida associated with the recalled ground beef product.
On Aug. 16, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was notified of an investigation of E. coli O26 illnesses. FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health and agriculture partners determined that raw ground chuck was the probable source of the reported illnesses. The epidemiological investigation identified 18 case-patients, predominantly from Florida, with illness onset dates ranging from July 5 to July 25, 2018.
Publix is alerting customers who may have purchased these products from June 25 through July 31 in the following Florida counties: Brevard, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia.
Florida Publix stores outside of these counties as well as stores in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia are not included in this voluntary recall.
“Food safety is our top priority. We have been working closely with various federal agencies as we share the common goal of maintaining food safety and public health. We urge our customers to make sure they no longer have ground chuck products purchased in the affected Florida counties from June 25 through July 31 in their freezers,” said Maria Brous, Publix media and community relations director. “Customers should dispose of the product or bring it in for a full refund.”
FDOH says anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider. Shiga-producing E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
Publix customers who have purchased the products in question may return them to their local store for a full refund. Customers with additional questions may call the company’s customer care department at 1-800-242-1227 or visit its website at www.publix.com/contactus.
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