If You Have This Beef Jerky in Your Pantry, Do Not Eat It, USDA Warns
Consuming this beloved snack could make you seriously ill.
If you've ever been on a road trip, or just needed a snack in a pinch, beef jerky is a reliable convenience store staple. These dried meat products are not only tasty, but also surprisingly nutritious, according to Healthline. Packaged varieties are high in protein and low in carbs—albeit with a bit more sodium than you'd generally want—and are also known for having a long shelf life. If you've stocked up on one particular brand, however, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking that you avoid eating it. Read on to find out which beef jerky products have been recalled.
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Meat products are often recalled for bacterial contamination.
Recalls of different meat products aren't uncommon, nor surprising, as "raw foods of animal origin are most likely to be contaminated" and cause food poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There have been several meat recalls this year, including one for a popular deli meat sold at Walmart. In May, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert for ready-to-eat (RTE) sliced Black Forest Ham, as products were potentially undercooked due to underprocessing. According to the Cleveland Clinic, pork products that are undercooked can be infected with a species of worm called Trichinella spiralis. If humans consume pork with the larvae of this worm, it can cause a form of food poisoning known as trichinosis. Consumers were instructed not to eat the ham product.
Another public health alert was issued in August, when certain ground beef items produced by Hawaii Big Island Beef were found to be potentially contaminated with E. coli 0157:h7. As with the ham recall, consumers were asked not to eat the recalled items, but to throw them out or return them instead.
Now, the FSIS is sounding the alarm about a beef jerky product that might also make you sick.
One company has recalled almost 500 pounds of beef jerky.
Knoxville, Tennessee-based establishment Magnolia Provision Company, Inc. has voluntarily recalled three ready-to-eat beef jerky products, the FSIS announced on Sept. 6.
Approximately 497 pounds of "BEEF JERKY EXPERIENCE CHOP HOUSE STYLE PRIME RIB FLAVORED BEEF JERKY" products are included in the recall, packaged in two-ounce, eight-ounce, and 16-ounce containers. All three products have an expiration date of Aug. 25, 2023, and also have the establishment number "EST. 8091," which is inside of the USDA mark of inspection.
According to the recall announcement, the beef jerky products were produced on Aug. 25 and shipped to retail locations across the U.S.
These products are potentially contaminated.
The beef jerky products were pulled after it was discovered that they "may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes," a bacteria that causes the infection listeriosis. The contamination issue was identified when Magnolia Provision Company "received confirmation from their third-party lab that a product contact surface sample returned as positive for Listeria monocytogenes," the recall announcement states. This was then reported to the FSIS, which issued a High Class 1 safety alert due to contamination.
According to the CDC, listeriosis is commonly contracted when people eat contaminated food, most often affecting those who are pregnant, newborn babies, older adults, and people who are immunocompromised. It is less likely to affect others who are not part of these groups.
Those who do become sick, however, will experience symptoms such as "fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions," the FSIS announcement states. Beforehand, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms may present. While listeriosis is treatable with antibiotics, it can be particularly problematic during pregnancy, as it can lead to a miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or other serious infection in newborns, per the FSIS.
If you have symptoms or concerns, contact your doctor immediately.
To date, Magnolia Provision Company, Inc. has not received any reports of adverse reactions tied to the recall, but the FSIS is still asking consumers to avoid eating any recalled beef jerky.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' pantries," the recall announcement reads. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them."
The agency adds that you can either throw the beef jerky away or return it to the store you purchased from.
If you do feel concerned about injury or illness connected to the recall, the FSIS asks that you contact your healthcare provider. Those at high risk for listeriosis who have "flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food" are also instructed to see their doctor and inform them about the consumption.
For questions pertaining to the recall, consumers are instructed to contact Rob Noyes, vice president of Magnolia Provision Company, Inc., whose contact information is listed in the FSIS recall announcement.