Kansas firm recalls ground beef products due to possible e.coli O157:H7 contamination
Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., an Emporia, Kan. establishment, is recalling approximately 131,300 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Sept. 27.
The following products are subject to recall:
5-pound chubs of Kroger-brand “GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN - 27% FAT,” packed in 40-pound cases containing eight chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 QW.” These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in Ind. and Tenn. for retail sale.
3-pound chubs of Butcher’s Brand “GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN - 27% FAT,” packed in 36-pound cases each containing 12 chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 LWIF.” These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in N.C. and S.C. for retail sale.
3-pound chubs of a generic label “GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN - 27% FAT,” packed in 36-pound cases each containing 12 chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 LWI.” These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in Del., Fla., Ga., Md., Ill., Ind., Mo., N.Y., Ohio, Tenn., Texas and Wis. for retail sale.
The products subject to recall have a “BEST BEFORE OR FREEZE BY” date of “SEP 12 2011” and the establishment number “245D” ink jetted along the package seam. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS' website at www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/ Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.
FSIS and the establishment are concerned that consumers may freeze the product before use and that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. FSIS strongly encourages consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product subject to this recall.
FSIS became aware of the problem yesterday (Sept. 26, 2011) when the agency was notified by the Ohio Department of Health of E. coli 0157:H7 illnesses located in Butler County. Illness onset dates range from Sept. 8, through Sept. 11, 2011. The on-going investigation involved collecting leftover ground beef from the patients’ home on Sept. 19 which tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s laboratory today (Sept. 27).
FSIS is continuing to work with Ohio public health partners on this investigation.
E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.
Consumers with questions regarding the recall should contact the company at (866) 328-3156. Media with questions regarding the recall should contact the company’s Director of Public Relations, Gary Mickelson at (479) 290-6111.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
Safe Preparation of Fresh and Frozen Ground Beef
Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.
Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160º F, whether prepared from fresh or frozen raw meat products.
Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90º F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.