Nebraska Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination

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Recall Release CLASS I RECALL
FSIS-RC-101-2011 HEALTH RISK: HIGH
Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Adam Tarr 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2011 - Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., a Dakota City, Neb. establishment, is recalling approximately 40,948 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. 

The following products are subject to recall:
10-pound chubs of "CHUCK FINE GROUND BEEF 80/20," packed in cases containing eight chubs.

The products subject to recall have a "BEST BEFORE OR FREEZE BY" date of "11/13/11" and "EST. 245C" on the box label. The products were shipped to institutions and distributors in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E. coliO157:H7. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. 

E. coli O157:H7 is a 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. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider. 

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. 

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. 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. 

Consumers with questions regarding the recall should contact the company at (866) 328-3156. Media with questions regarding the recall should contact the company's Director of Public Relations, Gary Mickelson at (479) 290-6111. 

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day atAskKaren.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 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.


PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit
www.fsis.usda.gov

Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills. 

Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods. 

Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160° F. 

Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such asE. coli O157:H7. 

The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature. 

Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

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