Threat of salmonella leads to recall of 6.5 million pounds of beef

File photo - A variety of cuts of beef and ground beef (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

An Arizona-based company is recalling approximately 6,500,000 pounds of raw beef that may be contaminated with salmonella, according to officials. The affected items were packaged from July 26 to September 7 and distributed to retail stores nationwide.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that JBS Tolleson, Inc. recalled the items after illnesses with a strain of the bacteria called Salmonella Newport were reported.

From August 5 to September 6, at least 57 people in 16 states reported getting sick after eating meat.

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The products that were recalled were packaged under the brand names Cedar River Farms Natural, Comnor Perfect Choice, Gourmet Burger and Grass Run Farms Natural, as well as under the JBS generic brand.

The recalled products bear establishment number "EST. 267" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Recalled Products List | Product Labels

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can lead to salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, usually within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food.

The illness typically lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment. However, diarrhea can be so severe in some cases that patient needs to be hospitalized.

Anyone who is concerned about an illness possibly associated with Salmonella should contact a health care provider.

FSIS is concerned that some consumers may still have the recalled items in their freezers. People who have purchased these products are urged not to use them and should either throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.