What You Need To Know About The 'High Risk' Ground Beef Recall

More than 19 tons of ground beef delivered to retailers in the southeast U.S. have been recalled and should not be eaten, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The department's Food Safety Inspection Service determined the meat was not inspected at its port of entry after arriving from Canada. The ground beef was processed in the U.S. after coming into the country as frozen, boneless beef head meat.

The USDA considers the meat subject to this recall a high health risk. The ground beef was packaged into 10-pound "chubs," or cylindrical rolls, and delivered to stores from distribution centers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Product labels indicated the meat was packaged between July 20 and 22, with freeze-by dates of August 9 or 10. As of Monday, the USDA did not have a list of stores that might be carrying the meat. 

The USDA said in its news release that it was concerned "that some product may be in consumers' refrigerators or freezers." If you think you have purchased these products definitely do not eat them. Instead, throw them away, or return them to the store. The USDA said it had no knowledge of anyone falling ill after eating beef from this shipment.

Meat from other countries is inspected at the port of entry

USDA's routine surveillance showed that this particular shipment of beef had bypassed import re-inspection. This oversight was enough to trigger the supplier, JBS Food Canada, to issue the recall.

Import inspectors conduct a variety of checks on meat originating in other countries, per USDA guidelines. They first check the shipment's documentation to make sure the source country has certified the product. They also check for any damaged packing, confirm the weight of packages, and sample for harmful bacteria. Meat that passes import re-inspection is considered as good as meat from domestic sources. If imported meat fails inspection, it is exported, destroyed, or made into animal food — if it's good enough to meet that standard. Foreign meat suppliers who routinely pass import re-inspections get a sort of reward: Their products are inspected less frequently upon arrival in the U.S.

Consumers with any questions about the JBS Food Canada recall can call the JBS USA Consumer Hotline at 1-800-727-2333.