Before you bite into your next burger or steak, you might want to double check where it came from: This week, the USDA issued a recall on 24,000 pounds of beef that they deemed “unfit for human consumption.”
The beef, which comes from American Beef Packers in California, was packed on August 21, 2019, and primarily sent to California and Oregon, and to “federal establishments,” but the Food Safety and Inspection service is concerned that it may have made its way into consumer refrigerators and freezers, and thus is issuing the complete recall.
The story behind the recall is not for the squeamish, so maybe plan a vegetarian meal if you’re reading this before lunch. The meat was recalled because of the presence of a carcass in the meat. Yes, a carcass. The Food Safety and Inspection Service personnel set aside the carcass for testing, took a sample, and then somehow mistakenly mixed it back in with the meat for sale — some of which was processed and distributed.
Whew. Mistakes were made. One upside (if there is one) is that it is very unlikely you’re going to accidentally buy this meat in the grocery store. Additionally, the recall is a Class II, which means that there is only a remote possibility of adverse health issues from the product. In other words, while this situation is super gross and really makes you think about where your meat is coming from, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get sick from it even if you do eat it.
You can find the full listing of meats recalled on the FSIS site, which lists mostly various cuts of steak and boneless beef — a change from the usual ground beef recalls. If you do find any of the contaminated beef in your possession, you can contact the company’s regulatory manager to find out what to about it and how to properly dispose of it. (Kari Godbey Houchens, Regulatory Manager, American Beef Packers, Inc. at (909) 628-4888 ext. 123.)