Federal officials issued a public health alert over concerns of ground beef products in HelloFresh meal kits.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Saturday that ground beef products in meal kits shipped to consumers between July 2 and July 21 may linked to an E. coli outbreak.
The agency said a recall wasn't being issued because the products are no longer available for purchase. However, the USDA is concerned that some customers may have the ground beef in their freezer if they did not cook the meal kit's food right away.
The ground beef subject to concern comes in a 10-ounce plastic vacuum-sealed package labeled "GROUND BEEF 85% LEAN/15% FAT" with codes “EST#46841 L1 22 155” or “EST#46841 L5 22 155” on the side of the packaging. It also bears “EST.46841” inside the USDA mark of inspection and on the plastic ground beef package.
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The USDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still investigating the outbreak and believe that the beef produced at one particular establishment is behind several reported illnesses.
The E. coli strain behind the outbreak is O157:H7. E. coli infection can cause severe symptoms, including bloody diarrhea, intense stomach cramps and, in rare cases, kidney failure.
Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them and should throw them away.