Quantcast

Burger With a Side of Plastic: More Than 35,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled Due to Contamination

Food
Nevit Dilmen / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

One unlucky diner found a nasty surprise in their ground beef―pieces of hard, blue plastic.

That discovery has led to a recall of more than 35,000 pounds of ground beef sold in Kroger stores, The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday.


The recall was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

"There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to the consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider," the USDA release said.

According to the USDA, the beef in question was produced by Lenoir, North Carolina-based JBS USA, Inc. on March 22, 2018. It was then shipped to Virginia and Indiana to be distributed to retailers.

The USDA expressed concern that some of the potentially-contaminated beef might be stored in customers' freezers. They urged anyone who had purchased the beef not to eat it, but instead to throw it away or return it to the store.

Of course, most of the plastic we consume does not lead to a recall, since it is usually too small to detect.

A study published March 29 in Environmental Pollution found that we likely consume around 114 microplastics with every meal, usually from plastic fibers from clothing, furniture or tires that make their way into household dust.

Humans also consume plastic by eating seafood. A 2016 study found plastic in a third of all fish caught in the UK, The Guardian reported last year. According to the same article, which provides an in-depth look at the ocean plastic problem, some of that plastic enters the fish when they consume zooplankton, who eat it first, and some if it is consumed by fish directly. Studies have shown that toxins contained in microplastics leach into the tissues of marine life, and there are concerns that this could impact the health of human seafood eaters.

Usually, there is no sign on the food you eat indicating whether it contains plastic or not, but if you think you might have purchased some of the plastic-contaminated ground beef, here are the labels to look out for, according to the USDA:

  • 3-lb. tray packages containing "Kroger GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN - 27% FAT" with product code 95051, UPC: 011110975645, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 1-lb. tray packages containing "Kroger GROUND BEEF 80% LEAN - 20% FAT" with product code 95052, UPC: 011110969729, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 3-lb. tray packages containing "Kroger GROUND BEEF 80% LEAN - 20% FAT" with product code 95053, UPC of 011110969705, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 1-lb. tray packages containing "PRIVATE SELECTION ANGUS BEEF 80% LEAN - 20% FAT GROUND CHUCK" with product code 95054, UPC: 011110971395, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 1-lb. tray packages containing "Kroger GROUND BEEF 85% LEAN - 15% FAT" with product code 95055, UPC: 011110969682, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 1-lb. tray packages containing "Kroger GROUND SIRLOIN 90% LEAN - 10% FAT GROUND BEEF" and product code 95056, UPC: 011110975638, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 1-lb. tray packages containing "ALL NATURAL LAURA'S LEAN BEEF 92% LEAN - 8% FAT GROUND BEEF" with product code 95057, UPC: 612669316714, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 1-lb. tray packages containing "ALL NATURAL LAURA'S LEAN BEEF 96% LEAN - 4% FAT GROUND BEEF" with product code 95058, UPC: 612669317063, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 1-lb. tray packages containing "PRIVATE SELECTION ANGUS BEEF 90% LEAN - 10% FAT GROUND SIRLOIN" with product code 95063, UPC: 011110969637 and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 1-lb. tray packages containing "Kroger GROUND BEEF 93% LEAN - 7% FAT" with product code 95064, UPC: 01111096920, and a Sell By date of 4/9/2018
  • 15-lb. cases containing "JBS Ground Beef Angus Chuck 80% Lean - 20% Fat Service Case" with Case UPC: 0040404800632 and a "Sell By: 9.APRIL"
  • 15-lb. cases containing "Ground Beef Angus Sirloin 90% Lean - 10% Fat Service Case" Case UPC: 0040404800634, and a "Sell By: 9.APRIL"

The establishment number inside the USDA mark of inspection on the recalled packages is "EST. 34176."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Ocean pollution concept with plastic and garbage. Anton Petrus / Moment / Getty Images

Nestlé cannot claim that its Ice Mountain bottled water brand is an essential public service, according to Michigan's second highest court, which delivered a legal blow to the food and beverage giant in a unanimous decision.

Read More Show Less

A number of supermarkets across the country have voluntarily issued a recall on sushi, salads and spring rolls distributed by Fuji Food Products due to a possible listeria contamination, as CBS News reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Birds eye view of beach in Green Bowl Beach, Indonesia pictured above, a country who's capital city is faced with the daunting task of moving its capital city of Jakarta because of sea level rise. Tadyanehondo / Unsplash

If you read a lot of news about the climate crisis, you probably have encountered lots of numbers: We can save hundreds of millions of people from poverty by 2050 by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but policies currently in place put us on track for a more than three degree increase; sea levels could rise three feet by 2100 if emissions aren't reduced.

Read More Show Less
A U.S. Border Patrol agent gathers personal effects from immigrants before they are transferred to a McAllen processing center on July 02, 2019 in Los Ebanos, Texas. John Moore / Getty Images

Poverty and violence in Central America are major factors driving migration to the United States. But there's another force that's often overlooked: climate change.

Retired Lt. Cmdr. Oliver Leighton Barrett is with the Center for Climate and Security. He says that in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, crime and poor economic conditions have long led to instability.

"And when you combine that with protracted drought," he says, "it's just a stressor that makes everything worse."

Barrett says that with crops failing, many people have fled their homes.

"These folks are leaving not because they're opportunists," he says, "but because they are in survival mode. You have people that are legitimate refugees."

So Barrett supports allocating foreign aid to programs that help people in drought-ridden areas adapt to climate change.

"There are nonprofits that are operating in those countries that have great ideas in terms of teaching farmers to use the land better, to harvest water better, to use different variety of crops that are more resilient to drought conditions," he says. "Those are the kinds of programs I think are needed."

So he says the best way to reduce the number of climate change migrants is to help people thrive in their home countries.

Reporting credit: Deborah Jian Lee / ChavoBart Digital Media.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

Chris Pratt arrives to the Los Angeles premiere of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Michael Tran / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Chris Pratt was called out on social media by Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa after Pratt posted an image "low key flexing" with a single-use plastic water bottle.

Read More Show Less