(WTXL/RNN) - As the U.S. Department of Agriculture investigated an October recall on beef, officials realized some patients were falling ill from products not included in the initial recall, so they decided to expand it.
More than 12 million pounds of raw beef products distributed nationwide by the JBS Tolleson company are under recall after a Monday press release added 5.1 million pounds to the standing recall.
Investigators say 246 people from 26 states became ill from what may be salmonella contamination from July 26 to Sept. 7, 2018. This is a significant increase from October, by which time officials had determined 57 people from 16 states had fallen ill.
At least three patients had purchased JBS Tolleson ground beef products that were not included in the Oct. 4 recall, according to the press release.
The recalled products were packaged from July 26 to Sept. 7, 2018, and bear the establishment number “EST. 267” inside the USDA mark of inspection. They were shipped nationwide to retail locations and institutions.
Federal officials are concerned that some frozen product may be in consumers' freezers. The products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase, officials said.
The USDA is also reminding consumers to safely prepare raw beef and make sure it is properly cooked.
Eating food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis, a 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. Older adults, infants and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.
Anyone concerned about an illness should contact their doctor.
Consumers with questions about the recall should call the JBS USA Consumer Hotline at (800) 727-2333.