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Cargill's ground beef being recalled

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Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., based out of Wyalusing, Pa, is recalling about 8,500 pounds of ground beef that may have been tainted with Escherichia coli O26, the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on Saturday.
 
The ground beef products of concern include 42-pound cases of GROUND BEEF FINE 90/10 with three 14-pound chubs each package, which was marked with "use/freeze by" date of "07.01/10" and an identifying code of "W69032".
 
The recalled beef products, produced on June 10, 2010, carry the company's establishment number "EST 9400" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The beef was shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut and Maryland where it was repacked into consumer-size packages and sold under various brand names.
 
The USDA believes certain BJ's Wholesale Club stores in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia may have received the recalled beef products.
 
The FSIS advised food consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any beef product subject to the recall.
 
The agency got aware of the problem on Aug 25, 2010 when it was notified by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources of an E. coli O26 cluster of illnesses.  The agency determined that the ground beef products subject to the recall have something to do with the illnesses.
 
What prompted the recall, according to the USDA, were two cases of E coli illnesses in Maine and one in New York.  A Cargill spokesman was cited as telling CNN yesterday that none of the three needed to be hospitalized.
 
E. coli O26 can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. At high risk are the very young, seniors and persons with weak or compromised immune systems, such as cancer and HIV patients.
 
This pathogenic bacterium is not as commonly publicized as E coli O157:h7, which is the worst type of E coli; that particular type can produce toxins and lead to bloody diarrhea; in extreme cases, it can cause kidney failure and even death.
 
According to foodsafety.gov, the common sources for E coli contamination are undercooked beef, especially hamburger, unpasteurized milk and juice, raw fruits and vegetables (such as sprouts), soft cheeses made from raw milk, feces of infected people, and contaminated water.
 
The incubation period is 1 to 8 days; once Escherichia coli illness occurs, it may last 5 to 10 days.
 
Those who experience E coli illness should not use antibiotics to treat this infection. Instead, they should drink plenty of fluids and get rest. If they can't drink fluids, they should call their doctors, according to foodsafety.gov.
 
The FSIS advises that food consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F.

By Jimmy Downs and editing by Rachel Stockton

(Send your news to foodconsumer.org@gmail.com, Foodconsumer.org is part of the Infoplus.com ™ news and information network)

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (7 posted):

jAmes rolla on 08/29/2010 22:38:32
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This is ridicules that we as consmer is just getting the word!!! Most of that meat is more than likely gone.first jalpeons;potatoes.eggs.pigs.mad cow;what safe to eat.?
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two months late on 08/29/2010 22:56:15
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Way to go USDA. Its been 2 months since the use by date on that meat. Its nice to see timely recall and inspections from the govt. If any of that meat is still out there after this long its way past rancid anyways.
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Dannysdad on 08/29/2010 22:56:35
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Is there no way that an accelarated test can be done before the products leave the packing plants to test for the Escherichia coli O26? I know there are USDA inspectors on site but they cannot see or test until the the organism grow. This is political problem, more money has to be spent to pay for more inspectors or a better way has to be found to clean up the the inspection process program.
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Vegitarian on 08/29/2010 23:54:47
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this is why i'm vegetarian
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Mikey on 08/30/2010 00:02:17
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@Mcgeehee - I'd be interested to see the peer reviewed scientific journal articles that substantiate your claims. In my experience, E. coli contamination, most often comes from the mechanical processing of the meet - aka, the grinding - when it is poorly handled and allowed to come into contact with animal digest, waste or other previously contaminated meat and the processing equipment. You assertion that grain feed is the primary cause is poorly argued, unless it perhaps is contaminated and the feed some how comes into contact with the processing of the meat such as could occur if animal digest is introduced into the mix. You give the impression that there is some inherent proclivitiy of grain feed to be less safe than grass feed. Grass would be just as unsafe if it too is contaminated and is allowed to contaminate the processed meat. As to your claims of unpasteurized milk being better than pasteurized milk, I would say this could be true if we do not consider large scale milk production. Again, there is nothing magical about this - large scale milk operations MUST be pasteurized since milk is coming from so many sources and even a small contamination can spread through such a large volume quickly and affect many thousands. If you are talking about small scale dairy farming - like if you owned your own cows and milked them daily like in Laura Engall's day, I would say you would be pretty safe not having to worry. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of being able to raise our own livestock these days and it is simply not practicle to expect it. So, we can thank Mr. Pasteure for inventing a process that has kept millions of people safe from food born illness using a very simple method of heating that introduces no chemical additives. NO one in modern society should recommend serving unpasteurized milk to children unless you own your own cows - even then, it is highly discouraged.
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Mary on 08/30/2010 01:32:33
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Wonder if BPI's pink slime was involved in this recall.
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Michael Hambright on 08/30/2010 12:57:47
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It is very aparent you did not read the artical but just started bashing. First the USDA was just informed of any sickness on 8/24/10. And the minute a person gets sick you can not start recalling everything they eat. Second, it is mandated that ALL GROUND MEAT is tested and held till a negitive results comes back. It's called test and hold. Third, because of testing they are sure the issue was not the beef but probably something that was added when cooked or ate with it. This is a very small recall just to be sure and allow further testing of the beef is any can be found. Forth, this has nothing to do with additives to cows as babies. If you are from PETA say Peta. If you are a veggnut, Great for you. Sorry, I am a stupid AMERICAN still holding on to my Bible, Gun and yes Beef.
O I almost forgot, It's is Bushs falt this happen, for sure. Praise be to Peta, Gore and Socialism..
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