Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. of Emporia, Kansas, just issued a recall of about 131,300 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with the E. coli O157:H7 pathogen, the U.S. Department of Agricultureâ€™s (USDAâ€™s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) just announced.
This recall has been deemed a Class I, which means this is a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled Tyson Fresh Meat products will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
All of the recalled products have a “Best Before or Freeze By” date of “Sep 12 2011″ and the establishment number “245D” ink jetted along the package seam. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSISâ€™ website. The following products are subject to recall:
â€¢ Kroger Brand: 5-pound chubs of “Ground Beef 73% Lean – 27% Fat,” packed in 40-pound cases containing eight chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 QW”; products were produced on August 23, 2011 and shipped to distribution centers in Indiana and Tennessee for retail sale.â€¨
â€¢ Butcherâ€™s Brand: 3-pound chubs of “Ground Beef 73% Lean – 27% Fat,” packed in 36-pound cases each containing 12 chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 LWIF”; products were produced on August 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in North and South Carolina for retail sale.â€¨
â€¢ Generic Label: 3-pound chubs of “Ground Beef 73% Lean – 27% Fat,” packed in 36-pound cases each containing 12 chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of “D-0211 LWI”; products were produced on August. 23, 2011 and shipped to distribution centers in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin for retail sale.â€¨
FSIS and the establishment are concerned that consumers may freeze the product prior to use and that some of the recalled meat may still be in consumersâ€™ freezers. The agency strongly encourages consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product subject to this recall.
FSIS became aware of the problem on September 26, 2011 when it was notified by the Ohio Department of Health of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses located in Butler County. Illness onset dates are September 8-11, 2011. The ongoing investigation involved collecting leftover ground beef from patientsâ€™ homes on September 19, which tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 by the Ohio Department of Agricultureâ€™s laboratory on September 27. FSIS is working with Ohio public health partners on this investigation.
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 foodborne 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.
Tyson Fresh Meats can be reached, toll-free, at 1.866.328.3156. 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.