What NOT to eat this Memorial Day
Recent recalls of ground beef, hummus and a wide variety of other foods that show up at picnics may make your choices for Memorial Day tough.
Friday, May 23rd 2014, 1:14 pm EDT
(NBC News) - If you’re planning to throw some burgers on the grill or munch on some hummus this holiday weekend, you may want to look closely at the packaging.
A recall of about 1.8 million pounds of ground beef expanded Thursday and now includes retail meat distributors in at least a dozen states, primarily in the Midwest and South. The recalled Angus Steak burgers and ground beef patties came from Wolverine Packing Co. of Detroit and were linked to at least 11 illnesses from a rare type of E.coli that can cause bloody diarrhea and deadly kidney failure, particularly in children and the elderly.
Wolverine officials said none of their product actually tested positive for E. coli, but they issued the recall as a precaution after officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service traced the illnesses to burgers or other ground beef in restaurants, and then back to Wolverine.
Another picnic and barbecue staple could also use a closer look. Nearly 15,000 pounds of hummus products sold at Trader Joe’s, Target and Giant Eagle stores were voluntarily recalled due to a possible risk of listeria discovered by Texas health officials. No illness has been reported, but listeria can cause serious infections in people with weakened immune systems and can cause miscarriage or stillbirth for pregnant women.
Anyone who bought recalled hummus or 5 layered dip can return it to the store for a refund.
And in case you’re more a sprouts-and-cottage-cheese type, check out some other warnings posted by government officials this week:
The CDC said Thursday that it was investigating an outbreak of E. coli illness in Washington and Idaho preliminarily linked to raw clover sprouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC, of Idaho. Ten people were sickened and five hospitalized, the CDC said.
Kraft Foods Group voluntarily recalled 1.2 million cases of several brands of cottage cheese products because they weren’t stored according to the company’s temperature standards. Affected products include Knudsen, Breakstone’s, Simply Kraft and Daily Chef cottage cheese dated May 9 through July 23.
St. Louis-based Sherman Produce voluntarily recalled 241 cases of bulk walnuts sold in Missouri and Illinois because they were potentially contaminated with listeria, as discovered by FDA sampling.
Schnucks Kitchen of Missouri recalled a small amount of curry chicken salad because of possible listeria contamination. The chicken salad was sold at Schnucks deli counters in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.
If you've checked the packaging and want to throw caution to the wind, go ahead and chow on a burger topped with hummus, sprouts and walnuts. Just be sure your meat is cooked through to protect against harmful bacteria. The USDA suggests cooking hamburger to 160 degrees, or 145 with a three-minute resting period.