Georgia Food Depot Recalls Ground Beef for Possible E. coli

Food Depot #24, of McDonough, Georgia, is recalling approximately 500 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. The FSIS warns that this is a Class I recall, which means that this is a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The contaminated ground beef products subject to this recall were sold as one- through four-pound tray packs bearing a “Sell By” date of “05/20/11.”

These recalled beef products were produced on May 19, 2011, and were sold to customers of the Food Depot #24 store located at 560 Macon St., McDonough, Georgia, 30253. 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 routine FSIS monitoring, 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; however, it is important to note that the effects of E. coli O157:H7 can take some time to manifest. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.

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. The very young, seniors, and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

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 degrees Fahrenheit. 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.

The recalling firm can be reached at its corporate office at 1.770.474.5904.

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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