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Backyard Barbecue this Weekend? Check the Ground Beef

Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie is recalling some of its ground beef products because they may be contaminated with the E. coli virus. The stores are removing packages of “Fresh 93% Lean Ground Beef” from its locations in Florida and the rest of the southeast. This recall falls on the heels of a bigger recall recently announced by the National Beef Company.

If you purchased a package of this type of ground beef from Winn-Dixie, throw it away or return it to the store for a full refund. To determine if the ground beef you bought is part of the recall, look for a UPC with the numbers 20167100000 or 24370700000. The meat was delivered to Winn-Dixie stores July 18 or after.

E. coli is a type of bacteria that lives in animal and human intestines. While most types are harmless, some strains can cause symptoms ranging from mild stomach issues to kidney failure and sometimes even death. Children are more likely to show symptoms of the virus than adults.

Products most susceptible to E. coli contamination include undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk and juice, raw fruits and vegetables and soft cheeses.

The E. coli virus can get into food during the harvesting or packaging process. Cross-contamination between people can also occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most E. Coli illnesses arise from eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. When cooking ground beef, you can lower your risk by making sure it is well-done with no pink showing. Meat should be heated to at least 160 degrees.

Product recalls are fairly common, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Last year, consumers were alerted of nearly 2,500 recalls, equating to 6.5 each day. This included food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other consumer products, a 14 percent increase compared to the previous year. The increase in recalls may be due to more regulation, improved testing procedures, and the widespread use of social media to alert consumers. Recently, The U.S. Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service launched a Twitter feed to notify consumers about recalls in their state.

You can also get information about food recalls through the Food and Drug Administration’s website. The site also lists recalls for drugs, medical devices, vaccines, cosmetics and animal and veterinary products to name a few. The site can even provide you with alerts of new product recalls through a new mobile phone app.

Manufacturers, distributors, retailers and suppliers can be held liable if their products harm a consumer. Product liability law protects consumers if a company acts negligently in its safety processes or fails to warn people about the dangers associated with a product.

Written by Elizabeth Allen
At the Lawrence Law Group, we believe it is critical that a person harmed by a defective product hire lawyers who understand the complexities of these cases and have the ability to properly investigate and litigate product liability cases. If you or someone close to you has become ill due to a contaminated product, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our Jacksonville product liability lawyers today for a free consultation.