McNees Meats Expands E. coli Ground Beef Recall

The Class I recall of McNees Meats that was recently announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been expanded to include 2,200 pounds of ground beef products produced by McNees Meats and Wholesale LLC., of North Branch, Michigan. The original recall involved 360 pounds of potentially contaminated ground beef.

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 ground beef might be contaminated with E. coli O157: NM (nonmotile), the FSIS said. The recalled products now include:

• 1- and 10-pound clear packages of “McNees Ground Beef Bulk.”
• 1- to 1.5-pound, approximate weight clear plastic bags of “McNees Ground beef patties.”
• 1-pound packages of “McNees Ground Round.”
• 1- and 2-pound packages of “McNees Ground Beef Bulk” sold in red and white plastic bags.

Each clear plastic bag and retail package bears the establishment number “EST. 33971” within the USDA mark of inspection. The products subject to recall were produced on July 7, July 15, July 21, July 28, and August 4, 2011, and sold to retail establishments and restaurants in Armada, Lapeer, and North Branch, Michigan. The products were also sold directly to consumers from a retail establishment owned by McNees Meats and Wholesale, LLC. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS’ website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.

FSIS was notified of an investigation of E. coli O157: NM illnesses on August 4, 2011. Collaborating with the Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH) and the Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Five confirmed case-patients have been found in Michigan with illness onset dates between July 18 and July 25, 2011. As a result of the epidemiologic investigation, investigators revealed a link between the ground beef products produced on July 15 and July 21 and the illnesses in Michigan.

E. coli O157: NM 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. E. coli O157: NM differs from E. coli O157:H7 in that it lacks the flagellar H antigen, which is what makes this strain nonmotile.

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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