• The recall affects a particular boneless beef chuck product
  • The problem was discovered during routine testing by the USDA FSIS
  • The product was shipped to places like hotels, retail and wholesale locations

More than 3,000 pounds of a certain beef product are being recalled because they may be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. (STEC) O103. The product was shipped to nine states.

The potential problem with the affected boneless beef chuck product from Elkhorn Valley Packing was discovered during routine testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), according to the announcement on the agency's website.

Specifically, the FSIS' testing of the ground beef derived from the product turned out positive for STEC O103.

Although E. coli bacteria "normally live" in people's and animals' intestines and are actually considered important to a healthy human intestinal tract, there are some types of E. coli that can cause illness. STEC, for instance, may cause symptoms like cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

The most commonly identified STEC in North America is E. coli O157, but there are also other non-O157 serogroups that tend to cause illnesses in the U.S. These include STEC O103, which was the one identified in the tested sample.

"Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 STEC, such as O103, because it is harder to identify than STEC O157:H7," the announcement said. "People can become ill from STECs 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after consuming the organism."

While some STEC illnesses can be mild, there are also instances when the infection can be "severe or even life-threatening." The type of kidney failure complication that has been associated with STEC, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), is said to be quite "uncommon" in STEC O103 infections.

So far, there have been no confirmed reports of illnesses from consuming the recalled product.

The recall affects some 3,436 pounds of the boneless beef chuck product, which comes in various weights in corrugated boxes with the note "Elkhorn Valley Pride Angus Beef 61226 BEEF CHUCK 2PC BNLS; Packed on 2/16/23." A photo of the packaging can be found here.

"These items were shipped to distributors, federal establishments, retail locations and wholesale locations, which includes hotels, restaurants and institutions," the FSIS announcement noted.

These were shipped to nine states: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The products have the establishment number "EST. M-19549" inside the USDA mark of inspection. A complete list of the affected serial numbers is available here.

Those who find that they are in possession of an affected product are being advised not to consume them or distribute them any further. Instead, they may either throw the product away or return it to where they bought it.

Those with questions about the recall may contact Elkhorn Valley Packing at 620-243-3308.

E coli
Colonies of E. coli bacteria grown on a Hektoen enteric (HE) agar plate are seen in a microscopic image courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Reuters/CDC