|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
Consumer Education and Information
Release No. 0272.97
WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 1997--The Hudson Foods Company, a Rogers, Ark., meat processing firm, is voluntarily recalling about 20,000 pounds of frozen ground beef patties distributed nationwide, because the product may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.
USDA learned of the problem from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment after it received reports of illness from several Colorado consumers who had eaten the Hudson product in early July. Laboratory tests showed the same E. coli O157:H7 strain among many of those who became ill, some of whom had eaten the Hudson product.
The following 3 Hudson products are being recalled:
"Est. 13569" appears inside the USDA inspection seal on the label of the three products. No other products are affected by the recall.
The product was distributed to retail food stores and wholesale stores nationwide in June and early July, so the product is not likely to be found in stores now. However, since the product is sold frozen, consumers who purchased the product then may still have some stored in their freezers.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. E. coli O157:H7 bacteria have been implicated in a number of recent outbreaks of foodborne illness across the United States.
"Because of the potential hazard of food-borne disease from consumption of undercooked or underprocessed meat and poultry products contaminated with pathogens such as the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria, we urge consumers who may have purchased the suspect product to return it to the place of purchase," said Thomas J. Billy, administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "USDA is informing the public so consumers who may have purchased and stored product in their freezers around that time can know to check," Billy said.
Consumers with questions about the recall may phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The Hotline can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. This number also provides access to a telecommunications device for the deaf and the hearing impaired.
Editor's Note: Media inquiries to the Hudson Foods Company should be directed to John White at 501-636-1100.
USDA news releases and media advisories are available on the Internet. Access the USDA Home Page on the World Wide Web at http://www.usda.gov
For Further Information, Contact:
Consumers: Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-800-535-4555 (voice); 1-800-256-7072 (TTY)
Media: (202) 720-9113
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