Arizona meat producer JBS Tolleson has recalled 6.5 million pounds of beef amid salmonella outbreak

At least 57 people sickened in 16 states and one death; affects ground beef products sold at Walmart

By Jon Johnson

TOLLESON – Arizona meat producer JBS Tolleson has recalled 6.5 million pounds of numerous beef products – including ground beef – because they may be contaminated with salmonella, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which sent out a news release Thursday morning.

This recall is considered a Class I Recall with a high-risk health hazard where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

At least 57 people in 16 states have been sickened due to the outbreak, and one person in North Carolina has died.

JBS Tolleson, which is based in Tolleson, was found to be the common supplier of various beef products linked to the outbreak. 

The USDA lists the raw, non-intact beef items were packaged on various dates from July 26 to Sept. 7. The recalled products have an establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection and have been shipped to retailers nationwide, including ground beef sold at Walmart. For a total list of products click here.

The investigation first began Sept. 6 and the first regulated product to case-patient was found Sept. 19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – along with state public health and agriculture partners – determined that raw ground beef was the probable source for the illnesses and that JBS was the common supplier for the beef products, according to the USDA release.

The USDA encourages consumers who have purchased these products to not consume them and to either throw them away or return them to the place of purchase. The USDA also advises all consumers to safely prepare raw meat products and to only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees and allowed to rest for at least three minutes.

Those with questions regarding the recall can contact the JBS USA Consumer Hotline at (800) 727-2333.

According to the USDA, “consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.”