Select HelloFresh meal kits pose E coli risks, regulators warn

NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert late Saturday for select HelloFresh meal kits containing ground beef products due to potential E. coli contamination.

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A recall was not requested because the products are no longer available for purchase, the inspection service stated in a news release.

Per the alert, the potentially affected meal kits were shipped to consumers July 2-21. The 10-ounce, plastic vacuum-packed packages contain “Ground Beef 85% lean/15% fat” with codes “EST#46481 L1 22 155″ or “EST#46481 L5 22 155″ on the side of the packaging. The recalled packages also bear “EST. 46841″ inside the USDA mark of inspection and on the plastic ground beef package.

The advisory was issued as part of a joint investigation by FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health partners of an unspecified E. coli outbreak for which “raw ground beef is the probable source of the reported illnesses.”

E. coli, can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, especially among children, the elderly and people with weakened immune symptoms, according to the CDC.

Consumers are advised to discard the potentially affected meal kits immediately.