Public health alert issued for ground beef due to foreign material contamination

Published 5:02 pm Thursday, May 12, 2022

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The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a public health alert for raw ground beef products due to concerns that the ground beef may contain hard plastic. A recall was not requested because the products are no longer available for purchase, stated a USDA press release.

The ground beef products were produced on April 20, 2022. The following products are subject to the public health alert [view labels]:

  • 16-oz. vacuum-sealed packages containing “ORGANIC RANCHER ORGANIC GROUND BEEF 93% LEAN 7% FAT” with a use by date of 5-18-2022.
  • 16-oz. vacuum-sealed packages containing “ORGANIC RANCHER ORGANIC GROUND BEEF 85% LEAN 15% FAT” with a use by date of 5-18-2022.

The products, which bear establishment number “EST. 4027” inside the USDA mark of inspection, were shipped to Whole Foods locations nationwide.

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The problem was discovered after the firm received complaints from consumers reporting they found hard, rigid plastic in the ground beef products; the firm then notified FSIS of the issue.

“There have been no confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products,” stated the release. “Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.”

According to the release, FSIS is concerned that the products may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them; these products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Consumers with questions about the alert can contact Adam Bushell, Quality Assurance Manager at NPC Processing Inc., at

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry or egg product, the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at