Ministry: Beef recalled by USDA was not being imported into T&T

The Ministry of Health says it notes that a Health Advisory has been recently issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This is concerning a nationwide (USA) recall of (Class 1) Raw Beef Products branded as Kroger Ground Beef, distributed by the Kroger Co. Cincinnati, Ohio, due to possible Salmonella contamination.

The ministry says that no other brands of ground beef are implicated in this recall.

No import permit was issued for the importation of this product and as such, no approval has been granted to import into Trinidad and Tobago.

However, this advisory is being issued out of an abundance of caution, to protect the health of consumers.

A Class 1 recall is defined as a health hazard, where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are:

·        Diarrhea

·        Abdominal Cramps

·        Fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product.

The illness usually lasts between 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment.

In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalised.

Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe symptoms. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

The ministry is further advising all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 71°C.

Other cuts of beef should be cooked to a temperature of 63°F and allowed to rest for at least 3 minutes.

It says the best way to confirm that ground beef or other cuts of beef are cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.

The ministry says it will continue to monitor this health concern and provide the public with further updates if necessary. 

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