|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
|CLASS I RECALL
HEALTH RISK: HIGH
and Public Affairs
|WASHINGTON, July 3, 2000--Top-Kut Meats, Inc., a Battle Creek, Mich., firm
is voluntarily recalling an additional 1,800 pounds of ground beef and 60 pounds of ground
pork sausage that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture announced today. Todays action is an expansion of the July 2 recall of
Five and ten pound bags of ground beef were shipped in boxes labeled with the establishment number "10024" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The boxes were also labeled with the product name, "Top-Kut Meats Ground Beef," and the code "262" or "254." The ground beef was produced on June 27 and June 29. The boxes of recalled ground beef were distributed to restaurants in the following Michigan counties: Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Eaton, Jackson, and Branch.
Recalled ground beef was also sold at the plants retail store, which is located at 15080 Beadle Lake Road. These packages have no identifying markings. Customers who have purchased ground beef from this location should return it.
The pork sausage was produced on June 29 and distributed to one restaurant in Calhoun County. Packages are labeled "Top-Kut Meats" "PORK SAUSAGE (FOR GRAVY)," have the establishment number "P-l0024" inside the mark of inspection and are of varying weights.
Consumers may wish to ask at the restaurant where they buy meals containing ground beef or pork sausage if the restaurant received any of the recalled products.
"Because of the potential for foodborne illness, we want consumers to be aware of the recall," said Margaret OK. Glavin, FSIS associate administrator. "Also, consumers who may have purchased product from the plants retail store should check their refrigerators or freezers."
The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbiological sampling.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly pathogen 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.
FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.
Consumers and media with questions about the recall may contact Tim Gunning, owner of Top-Kut Meats, Inc., at (616) 965-2282.
Consumers with food safety questions can 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, and recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov
|PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION
Consumers should only eat ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe temperature of 160 ºF. When a ground beef patty is cooked to 160 ºF throughout, it can be safe and juicy, regardless of color.
The only way to be sure a ground beef patty is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use an accurate digital instant-read thermometer.
Color is not a reliable indicator that ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
Eating a pink or red ground beef patty without first verifying that the safe temperature of 160 ºF has been reached is a significant risk factor for foodborne illness.
Thermometer use to ensure proper cooking temperature is especially important for those who cook or serve ground beef patties to people most at risk for foodborne illness because E. coli O157:H7 can lead to serious illness or even death. Those most at risk include young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
USDA RECALL CLASSIFICATIONS
Class I This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
Class II This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.
Class III This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.
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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