Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., a Wyalusing, Pa. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,500 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The product subject to recall includes: [View Label]
- 42-pound cases of "GROUND BEEF FINE 90/10," containing three (3) - approximately 14 pound chubs each. These products have a "use/freeze by" date of "07/01/10," and an identifying product code of "W69032."
The products subject to recall bears the establishment number "EST. 9400" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were produced on June 11, 2010, and were shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut and Maryland for further distribution. It is important to note that the above listed products were repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names. 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 also freeze the product before use and that some product may still 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 on August 5, 2010 when the agency was notified by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources of an E. coli O26 cluster of illnesses. In conjunction with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, the New York State Department of Health, and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, two (2) case-patients have been identified in Maine, as well as one (1) case-patient in New York with a rare, indistinguishable PFGE pattern as determined by PFGE subtyping in PulseNet. PulseNet is a national network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Illness onset dates range from June 24, 2010, through July 16, 2010.
FSIS determined that there is an association between the ground beef products subject to recall and the cluster of illnesses in the states of Maine and New York. FSIS regulations and statute allow the agency to take action on a product under its jurisdiction in cases where the product is convincingly associated to illness by evidence collected though an epidemiological, traceback investigation, and/or laboratory analysis. FSIS is continuing to work with affected state public health partners and the company on the investigation.
E. coli O26 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 (including restaurants) 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's Consumer Line at (877) 788-4953. Media with questions regarding the recall should contact the company's Director of Communications, Mike Martin at (316) 291-2126.
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.