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Phoenix-area processing plant recalls 6.5M pounds of possibly tainted beef

PHOENIX — A meat-processing plant in metro Phoenix has issued a recall of more than 6.5 million pounds of raw beef, warning that it could be contaminated with salmonella, a federal agency said Thursday.

At least 57 people in 16 states have been sickened by ground beef traced back to supplier JBS Tolleson in Tolleson, the United States Department of Agriculture said in a press release.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said there were 15 confirmed cases of salmonella in the state that were linked to raw ground beef.

The potentially affected products were packaged from July 26 to Sept. 7. The products subject to recall had the establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

They were sold under several names, including Walmart, Cedar River Farms, Comnor Perfect Choice, Gourmet Burger and Grass Run Farms Natural.

Bashas‘ and Food City said their stores were not affected.

Jerry Brown, the spokesman for St. Mary’s Food Bank, said in an email that it had received products from JBS Tolleson in the past, but that an inventory audit confirmed that it had not received nor distributed any products that were part of the recall.

“Salmonella can cause serious illness, so it is critical that everyone take precautions by not eating the recalled meat and thoroughly cooking all beef products,” Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in a statement.

“If you or someone in your family recently ate ground beef and are experiencing severe symptoms, please contact your health care provider.”

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services said it was concerned the recalled beef could be frozen, and recommended consumers return it to the place of purchase or throw it away.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product.

The majority of people recover from salmonella without treatment but they could be sick for as long as a week.

During the spring, lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona was identified as the source of an E. coli outbreak that reached 11 states. Five people died.

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