USDA Alert Greater Omaha Ground Beef

USDA Issues Alert on Contaminated Ground Beef

In a recent announcement, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a consumer alert concerning ground beef potentially contaminated with E. coli. This warning was directed at products produced by Greater Omaha Packing Co., Inc., highlighting the health risks associated with the consumption of the affected meat.

Background of the Alert

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) publicized the alert following the discovery that certain batches of ground beef produced on March 28, 2024, may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, a particularly harmful strain of the bacteria. While the affected products are no longer available for purchase, and thus no recall was initiated, the USDA took steps to inform consumers and food institutions about the potential danger.

Identification of Contaminated Products

The products in question bear a “Use/Freeze by” date of April 22, 2024, and were packaged on March 28, 2024. The packaging includes the establishment number “EST. 960A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. This information serves as a critical identifier for consumers and vendors to verify whether their ground beef is part of the alert.

Response from Greater Omaha Packing Co., Inc.

The issue came to light during a routine inventory check by Greater Omaha Packing Co., Inc. The company discovered that some of the beef which had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 was inadvertently used to produce ground beef that was then distributed into the marketplace. Upon realizing the mistake, the company immediately notified the FSIS.

Health Risks Associated with E. coli

E. coli bacteria can cause severe gastrointestinal illnesses and complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of an E. coli infection can include severe diarrhea (often bloody), stomach cramps, vomiting, and occasionally, a high fever. These symptoms typically last around five to seven days. Vulnerable populations such as young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of developing severe complications from E. coli infections.

Consumer Safety Recommendations

The USDA strongly advises consumers who have purchased the implicated ground beef not to consume it. Instead, they should dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase. Similarly, food service institutions are urged not to serve these products. This precautionary measure is crucial to prevent any potential E. coli infections among consumers and to ensure public health and safety.

Further Measures and Information

For additional safety, the USDA also offers more detailed information on the labels of the affected products, which can be accessed through the FSIS website. This step is part of broader measures to enhance consumer awareness and prevent the consumption of contaminated meat.

Implications for Food Safety Standards

This incident underscores the ongoing challenges in food safety and the need for stringent checks within the food production and distribution processes. It also highlights the importance of rapid response mechanisms by both corporations and health authorities in the event of potential health threats.


The proactive measures taken by Greater Omaha Packing Co., Inc., in collaboration with the USDA, aim to mitigate the impact of this contamination issue. While there have been no confirmed reports of illness associated with the consumption of these ground beef products to date, the situation remains a potent reminder of the importance of maintaining strict food safety protocols. Consumers are encouraged to heed the warnings issued by health authorities and ensure that any suspect food items are handled appropriately.

Related: The top 10 meat producers in the USA

Source: ABC News

Exit mobile version