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E. Coli Beef Recall Expanded

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, June 29, 2009 1:50 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: E. Coli, Foodborne Illness, Beef Recall

Multi-state beef recall has sickened at least 18 with E. coli poisoning.

High Alert Recall 



IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ cows eating regularly minimizes E. coli/ USDA, Agriculture Research Service 


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expanding its recall of beef from Colorado to include another 380,000 pounds.

JBS Swift Beef Company of Greely, Colorado, announced a recall last week because of a possible E. coli 0157:H7 contamination. At that time 41,280 pounds were voluntary recalled after 24 illnesses were reported.

The recall was initiated by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which found 18 of the 24 illnesses reported appear to be associated with this JBS Swift beef. 

The USDA has not said which states were affected, but the meat was shipped to distributors and retail sales stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.    

The recall is listed as a Class I with the Health Risk listed as “High”.

The meat products were produced April 21 and sent out nationally and internationally.   Boxes of the recalled meat have the number “EST. 969” stamped inside the USDA mark of inspection.  There is a package date of “042109” and a stamp of the time ranging from “0618”   to “1130”.

Complicating the recall is that some of the tainted products may have be further processes and may no longer have the “EST.969” stamp.

"The recalled products include intact cuts of beef, such as primals, sub-primals, or boxed beef typically used for steaks and roasts rather than ground beef. (The Food Safety and Inspection Service) is aware that some of these products may have been further processed into ground products by other companies. The highest risk products for consumers are raw ground product, trim or other non-intact product made from the products subject to the recall," according to the FSIS.  The FSIS has a list of the products affected.

The products were sold as whole meat not ground beef, the company says, but adds,  "The ground beef that might have been associated with illness was produced by other companies who often do not use the antimicrobial intervention steps we employ in our facility to reduce the risk of the beef products. Nevertheless, we have agreed to expand our recall of whole muscle cuts out of an abundance of caution for consumers.”

E. coli contamination comes from the feces of animals and can be introduced at any point of processing.  Symptoms include cramps and diarrhea, and vomiting and can last anywhere from two to eight days.  

Color is not a reliable test that ground beef has been adequately cooked. A meat thermometer is the only sure way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F. Consumers are advised to refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

E. coli was recently linked to a multistate outbreak of Nestle toll House cookie dough. As of Thursday, 69 people have been infected with the particular strain of E. coli 0157.H7 associated with the Nestle cookie dough.  #

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