National Beef Packing Co. LLC, of Dodge City, Kansas, is recalling approximately 60,424 pounds of ground beef products over concerns the meat may be contaminated with the dangerous, sometimes deadly, E. coli O157:H7 pathogen, the U.S. Department of Agricultureâ€™s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced.
The recall has been deemed a Class I by the FSIS, which means this represents a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death. The products subject to recall are:
Ground Beef Chubs produced July 23, 2011; Freeze by Date: August 12, 2011:
â€¢ Boxes containing six 10-pound chubs of â€œNational Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck.â€ Product code 483.
â€¢ Boxes containing eight 5-pound chubs of â€œNational Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck.â€ Product code 684.
â€¢ Boxes containing twelve 3-pound chubs of â€œNational Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck.â€ Product code 782 or 785.
â€¢ Boxes containing six 10-pound chubs of â€œNational Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck.â€ Product code 787. â€¨
Ground Beef Chubs produced July 25, 2011; Freeze by Date: August 14, 2011:
â€¢ Boxes containing eight 10-pound chubs of â€œNational Beef 81/19 Fine Ground Beef.â€ Product code 431.
â€¢ Boxes containing eight 10-pound chubs of â€œNational Beef 90/10 Fine Ground Beef.â€ Product code 471.
â€¢ Boxes containing six 10-pound chubs of â€œNational Beef 86/14 Fine Ground Round.â€ Product code 494. â€¨
Each box and chub bears establishment number â€œEst. 262â€ within the USDA mark of inspection. The products were shipped to distributors nationwide for further processing and/or distribution; however, the recalled products may have been repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSISâ€™ website.
The problem was discovered as a result of routine microbial testing conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture at a state-inspected facility that purchased the recalled meat for further processing. A traceback investigation revealed that National Beef Packing Co., a slaughter facility, products were the only source for the positive product sample. FSIS and National Beef Packing Co. LLC have received no reports of illnesses linked with consumption of the recalled products; however, E. coli can take some time to manifest with symptoms.
E. coli O157 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. The FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare raw meatâ€”fresh and frozenâ€”and only consume ground beef cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The only way to confirm ground beef is cooked to sufficient temperatures is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.
National Beef Packingâ€™s Vice President of Marketing, Keith Welty, can be reached at 1.816.713.8631. 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 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.