Nationwide Sickness Caused by Contaminated Beef


Rainer Zenz

Ground beef that has been recently recalled due to a Salmonella outbreak.

Francis Siu, Staff Writer

Starting in early Oct., over 12 million pounds of beef have been recalled due to reports of salmonella, which is affecting hundreds of consumers nationwide.

Salmonella is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Some symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, which usually begin within 12 to 72 hours after ingesting contaminated food. These symptoms can last up to a week.

Weeks after the beef was distributed across the nation, the United States Department of Agriculture and other organizations discovered that JSB Tolleson was the common supplier for the contaminated beef.

Based in Arizona, JBS Tolleson Incorporated is currently one of the world’s largest meat-producing corporations. According to JBS, the infected meat was packaged between July 26 and Sept. 7. In Oct., the company recalled 6.9 million pounds of beef, which, added to the Dec. recall, totals to 12 million pounds of beef recalled.

The recall issued in Oct. was due to reports of sickness caused by the contaminated beef. 

Some states that were affected by the beef included an estimated 66 cases from California, 11 from Utah, 42 in Arizona, and 13 in Texas. Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Illinois also had cases of reported sickness.

Two months after the first notice, an estimated 5.1 million pounds beef were recalled on Tuesday, Dec. 4 since it may have been contaminated with salmonella. As of Dec. 4, around 300 people in 28 different states reported symptoms of salmonella after consuming the beef. Most cases were diagnosed from early Aug. to mid Oct. An estimated 60 people have been hospitalized from the recalled beef, but no deaths have been reported.