California Firm Recalls Ground Beef for E. Coli

Montclair Meat Co., Inc., of Montclair, California, is recalling approximately 53,000 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced. Of note, this is a Class I recall, which means that this is a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The products subject to recall include:

• Various pound packages of “MONTCLAIR MEAT CO. GROUND BEEF”
• Various pound packages of “MONTCLAIR MEAT CO. ALL BEEF PATTIES”

Each package bears establishment number “Est. 6116″ inside the USDA mark of inspection. These ground beef products were produced from May 3, 2010 through May 13, 2010, and were shipped to retailers and federal establishments for further processing in the Los Angeles, California.

The problem was discovered through FSIS microbiological sampling; FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. Individuals concerned about an illness are advised to contact a physician, said the FSIS. The FSIS said it routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify customers of the recall and that steps are taken to ensure the product is no longer available to consumers. If available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS Web site at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.

Consumer questions should be directed to the company’s owner, Doug White, at (909) 985-9616. 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 l0:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

E. coli are a group of bacteria found in animal intestines and feces. While some strains are necessary for digestion; some are harmful, deadly, and toxin producing and part of a group of E. coli called Verocytotoxigenic E. coli, or VTECs, also known as Shiga-producing E. coli. Of particular concern is the virulent, sometimes deadly E. coli O157:H7 strain that is part of this group and is generally found to be the culprit in E. coli-related food-borne illness outbreak.

E. coli may cause fatal blood poisoning, cystitis, deadly septicemia, and death. Symptoms of E. coli infection include stomach cramps and watery diarrhea that may turn bloody within one to three days. E. coli taints meat through improper butchering and processing practices and, once released in the body, produces the Shiga-producing toxins that have been linked to kidney damage in young children, and can also lead to kidney failure and death.

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