Possible E. Coli Prompts Beef Recall

Possible E. coli contamination has prompted a beef recall. Sysco Seattle Inc., of Seattle, Washington, is recalling approximately 16,800 pounds of ground beef patties imported from Canada over concerns the meat 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.

This recall has been deemed a Class I by the FSIS. A Class I recall is the agency’s most serious designation and means this represents a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The following products are subject to recall:

  • • 10-pound boxes of 8-ounce Prime Rib Beef Patties. Product Code 55317; Production Code 11 NO 22.
  • • 10-pound boxes of 71g Prime Rib Beef Patties. Product Code 55391; Production Code 11 SE 01 or 12 JA 04.

Since the issuance of it Public Health Alert concerning Canadian imported ground beef patties, FSIS has learned that Sysco was contacted by the Canadian firm involved and began notifying its customers on March 20. The Public Health Alert can be accessed at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_032412_01/index.asp.

The recalled, imported beef was produced by New Food Classics of Burlington, Ontario and imported by Sysco Seattle Inc. for distribution to restaurants in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and Washington.

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 develop an infection from food borne pathogens.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and to only consume ground beef that has been cooked to an internal 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.

Susan Linn of Sysco Seattle can be reached at 1.832.489.1799. 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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