E. coli Prompts McNees Meats to Recall Ground Beef

McNees Meats and Wholesale LLC., of North Branch, Michigan, is recalling about 360 pounds of ground beef product products that may be contaminated with the dangerous, sometimes deadly, E. coli O157:H7 pathogen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced.

Thirty-six 10-pound bags of “McNees Ground Beef Bulk” are involved in the recall. Each clear plastic bag bears establish number “EST. 33971” within the USDA mark of inspection. The potentially contaminated, recalled products were produced on July 15, and July 21, 2011 and sold to restaurants in Armada, Lapeer, and North Branch, Michigan and were also sold from a retail establishment owned by McNees Meats and Wholesale, LLC.

This recall has been deemed a Class I, which means that this a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled McNees meat product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on August 4, 2011. Collaborating with the Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), 3 case-patients in Michigan were identified with illness onset dates that fell between July 18 July 28, 2011.

The epidemiologic investigation enabled the FSIS to find a link between the ground beef products and the Michigan illnesses. The investigation conducted by the FSIS and the Michigan state public health partners continues.

E. coli is a potentially deadly pathogen, and deadly strain 0157:H7 is certainly the most frequently occurring. E. coli poisoning 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.

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. Strain E. coli O157:H7 falls into this category and is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure.

Questions about the recall should be directed to Melanie McNees, at 1.810.688.2408. 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 (ET), Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

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