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Massive ground beef recall doubles to more than 12 million pounds

An already massive recall of ground beef products has now expanded to more than 12 million pounds as of Tuesday, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Arizona-based meat producer JBS Tolleson, Inc. is recalling 12,093,271 pounds of “non-intact, raw beef products” due to an outbreak of salmonella, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The recalled beef products may be contaminated with salmonella, and this expansion doubles the previous amount recalled.

The full list of recalled products is available online. The FSIS has also provided images of the product labels.

The recall was issued after health officials identified JBS as the common supplier of raw ground beef products found to be the “probable source” of reported salmonella illnesses.

Between Aug. 5 and Sept. 6, there were 57 cases of salmonella illness reportedly linked to this outbreak.

Now, the number of cases has skyrocketed to 246 confirmed from 26 states with illness onset dates spanning July 26 to Sept. 7.

The USDA’s FSIS was first notified of the possible outbreak in September. Receipts and shopper cards from  patients helped investigators identify the source of the outbreak.

Symptoms of salmonella usually begin 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food. These can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever that last between four and seven days. Most people recover on their own but those who experience persistent diarrhea may need to be hospitalized.

Those at most risk for severe illness include people with weakened immune systems, babies and elderly individuals.

The recalled products were packaged between July 26 and September 7 and were sold nationwide under brand names Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Showcase/Walmart and JBS Generic.

The USDA inspection mark on the packaging of the recalled products contains the establishment number “EST. 267.”

“FSIS 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,” the agency said in announcing the recall.

The USDA also reminded consumers to cook all ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

“The only way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.”