Check the ground beef in your freezer ASAP to make sure it's not the batch potentially contaminated by E. coli.

By Lauren Phillips
September 20, 2018
Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

Tell your friends and neighbors: Hundreds of thousands of pounds of ground beef have been recalled because of potential E. coli contamination.

A Colorado-based meat company, Cargill Meat Solutions, issued the recall of approximately 132,606 pounds of ground beef products on September 19, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The ground beef may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O26, a type of E. coli bacteria that can cause vomiting and other gastrointestinal distress.

An investigation found that the ground beef is the probable cause of 17 reported illnesses and one death, all between July 5 and 25. The ground beef was produced and packaged on June 21 and sold nationwide; the products subject to recall have establishment number EST. 86R inside the USDA mark of inspection, and the full list of recalled products can be seen here. Cargill Meat Solution's beef brands include: Rumba Meats, Sterling Silver Premium Meats, Angus Pride Beef, Excel Fresh Meats, Ranchers Registry Beef, Angus Farms Beef, Genuine Texas Angus Beef, and Blackwell Angus Beef.

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The Food Safety and Inspection Service is concerned that some of the recalled product may be frozen in people’s freezers or otherwise stored and recommends potentially impacted items be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. If you bought and froze ground beef in late June for later use, check the label before using it to ensure it’s not part of the recall.

People can become ill from consuming the potentially contaminated meat two to eight days after exposure, though most become ill within three or four days. Most recover within a week with plenty of hydration, rest, and other support, but some people may develop a more severe infection and should seek emergency medical care.

Even if your ground beef is not affected, always be sure to consume ground beef (fresh or frozen) that has been cooked thoroughly to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Related: How Long Will Food Last in the Freezer?

For more information on this recall, visit the USDA’s website, and if you're worried your home has been contaminated, this LED light kills bacteria in your kitchen for good.