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Millions of pounds of beef are being recalled because of potential Salmonella Newport contamination, reports the Across Illinois Patch.

The affected beef products come from JBS Tolleson and were sold in Illinois and elsewhere. The company, which is based in Arizona, is recalling close to 6.5 million pounds of its raw and non-intact beef products, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). These items, which included ground beef, were packaged some time between the July 26 and September 7 and have “EST. 267” as the establishment number stamped inside the mark of inspection from the USDA. They were shipped to institutions and retailers across the nation.

On September 7, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service was informed that investigators were checking into cases of Salmonella Newport illness. Later, the agency was able to trace this illness back to the ground beef products made by JBS Tolleson. According to a release from the FDA, eight affected people provided shopper card numbers or receipts that allowed investigators to trace the items. Once ground beef was identified as a common denominator, state and federal health officials discovered that JBS was the supplier in common.

A total of 57 people across 16 states became ill by the beef between the August 5 and September 6. Food that has been contaminated with this strain of Salmonella can cause a person who eats it to suffer from salmonellosis, which a foodborne bacterial illness. Symptoms of the sickness include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which appear within days or even hours of a person consuming tainted food. While most people will recover without medical treatment over the course of a week, some people can become seriously ill and need hospitalization, especially people with weak immune systems, older adults and infants.

The USDA is still concerned that there will be more cases of the illness because news of recalled food often doesn’t reach all of the affected parties, and people may still have recalled beef stored in freezers. The agency is encouraging anyone with beef from the brand to either return it to the store it was purchased from or throw it out.

Unfortunately, food recalls have become more and more common in recent times, but the USDA and Food and Drug Administration have been working on improvements to their tracking and information systems to recall products as soon as a problem is identified and to better spread the word about recalls to the public. In fact, the FDA has a dedicated website for recalls that allows consumers to sign up for alerts, and they are working on a way for consumers to see where recalled products may have been sold.

Unsafe products can cause serious illness and even death. If you or someone you care about was harmed by an unsafe product, be sure to speak to an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer from the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. about your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering and losses associated with the use of the dangerous product.