|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
|CLASS I RECALL
HEALTH RISK: HIGH
and Public Affairs
Nebraska Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2000--Skylark Meats, Inc., an Omaha, Neb., firm, also doing business as Mid America Refrigeration, is voluntarily recalling approximately 47,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.
The ground beef products being recalled are:
Each box and package is labeled with establishment number 4215 and a sell by date of Sept. 29.
The ground beef was packed on Sept. 14 and distributed to wholesale establishments in Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
"Because of the potential for foodborne illness, we want consumers to be aware of the recall," said Thomas J. Billy, FSIS administrator. "Purchasers or consumers of ground beef may wish to ask retail stores, restaurants, or places where they consume ground beef if the product or meal contains the recalled ground beef."
The problem was discovered through an FSIS traceback of an E. coli 0157:H7 positive sample taken from a Raleigh, N.C., supermarket reported two weeks ago.
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.
FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.
Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Vince DeGrado, corporate quality assurance manager, Skylark Meats, Inc., at (402) 592-0300. Media with questions may contact Jim Leonard, president, Skylark Meats Inc., at (402) 592-0300.
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
Recalls Menu | News and Information Page | FSIS Home Page | USDA Home Page