E. Coli Prompts Chicago Company to Recall Ground Beef

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) just announced that a Chicago food company has recalled approximately 200 pounds of ground beef patties that may be contaminated with <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">E. coli O157:H7.

According to the recall notice, ground beef patties were produced by Columbus Meat Market Inc., which is located at 906 W. Randolph. The recalled patties were produced on December 27, 2010, and shipped to food-handling establishments in the Chicagoland area. Each package label on the suspect patties bears the establishment number “EST. 755″ and an identifying pack date of “12/27/10.” The contamination was discovered through IDOA microbiological sampling, which confirmed a positive result for E. coli O157:H7.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly 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 food-borne illnesses.

IDOA and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

IDOA routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that firms have notified their customers of a recall and that steps have been taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

The IDOH offers the following tips for “Preparing Ground Beef for Safe Consumption” and notes that the USDA Meat and Poultry hotline is (toll-free) 1-888-MPHOTLINE and website is
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/index.asp:

• 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, 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 160 F. 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 90 F; refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

Columbus Meat Market Inc. can be reached at 1.312.829.2480.

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