|WASHINGTON, May 21, 2008 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for approximately 808
pounds of ground beef products produced at Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., a Lexington, Neb., establishment
that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., (EST. 245L), sold chubs of 85% lean, 15% fat coarse ground beef to Sherm’s
Food-4-Less retail establishment in Medford, Oregon, who then processed this ground beef into
various sized packages of ground beef products and sold to consumers between May 7 and May 19.
FSIS is issuing a public health alert rather than a recall because FSIS has confirmed that none
of the affected products remain available for sale at this retail establishment. Consumers that
may have purchased various sized packages of ground beef products at this retail establishment
between May 7 and May 19 are urged to check their refrigerators and freezers and discard or return
the ground beef products for a refund.
The problem was discovered after a microbiological test for E. coli O157:H7 was reported
positive by another recipient of the product subject to this alert. FSIS has received no reports
of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Anyone with signs or symptoms of foodborne
illness should consult a medical professional.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly
bacteria 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
Consumers with questions about this alert should contact the Tyson hotline at (866) 328-3156.
Media with questions about this alert should contact company Director of Communications Gary Mickelson
at (479) 290-6111.
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 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages
are available 24 hours a day.