E. coli Risk Prompts Ground Beef Recall

First Class Foods, Inc., of Hawthorne, California, is recalling approximately 34,373 pounds of organic 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.

The recall has been classified as a Class I by the USDA, 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 following products are subject to recall:

• 16-oz. packages of “NATURE’S HARVEST ORGANIC GROUND BEEF BRICK” sold singly with one of the following “USE or FREEZE by” dates: “12/30/10″ or “01/08/11.”

• 16-oz. packages of “ORGANIC HARVEST ORGANIC GROUND BEEF BRICK” sold singly and in three-packs with one of the following “USE or FREEZE by” dates: “12/28/10″ or “01/06/11.”

• 16-oz. packages of NATURE’S HARVEST GROUND PATTY” containing four (4) 4-oz. patties with the following “USE or FREEZE by” date: “12/30/10″ or “01/08/11″

Each package label bears the establishment number EST. 18895, as well as the identifying Pack Date of 10341 and 10350 Julian dates. These ground beef products were produced on December 7 and 16, 2010, and were shipped to retail establishments in California, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Washington State. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS’ website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.

The problem was discovered through company microbiological sampling, which confirmed a positive result for E. coli O157:H7. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

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 illness.

Consumer can contact the firm, toll-free, at 1-888-843-8016 or can check the website at www.firstclassfoods.com. 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.

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