It's the Fourth of July, meaning many friends and families will spend the weekend gathering for their annual Independence Day cookout. However, before you fire up the grill, you'll want to check the label on your burger meat. A popular company has issued a voluntary recall on several of their products after discovering possible E. coli contamination. Read on to find out if you've bought a bad batch, and what to do about it if so.
Merkley and Sons has issued a ground beef recall.
On June 26, Jasper, Indiana-based butcher shop Merkley and Sons shared with its customers via Facebook that the company is issuing a voluntary recall on their one- and five-pound packages of 80 percent lean ground beefGround Beef. The affected meat was sold in retail locations between June 7 and June 24, 2021.
No other products have been affected, the company says.
The product recall does not affect the brand's 90 percent lean premium ground beef or any of the company's other products. They note in the recall notice that only products sold between June 7 and June 24 have been compromised, meaning there's no problem if you purchased their 80 percent lean ground beef sold Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26.
Here's how to handle your ground beef safely.
Merkley and Sons says they issued the recall out of "an abundance of caution," and that there had been no reports of illness related to consumption of the recalled meat at the time their statement was issued.
However, they still emphasized the importance of handling all meat safely—even when there's no particular cause for concern. "For your safety, we remind you to always properly handle and cook all meat products to reduce the risk of illness. Preparing ground beef in accordance with package directions includes properly washing your hands and cooking [the] product thoroughly to 160 °F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature," their management team wrote.
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This is what to do if you got a bad batch.
The company says that anyone experiencing symptoms of foodborne illness or bacterial infection should consult their doctor. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of E. coli include nausea and vomiting; stomach cramping, pain or tenderness; and diarrhea.
Customers who have purchased the recalled beef between the dates listed above should return the product to the company's retail location for a full refund or exchange.