|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
|CLASS I RECALL
HEALTH RISK: HIGH
and Public Affairs
Texas Firm Recalls Ground Beef Patties For Possible E. coli O157:H7
WASHINGTON, NOV. 21– H & H Meat Products Co. Inc., a Mercedes, Texas, firm, also doing business as H & H Foods, is voluntarily recalling approximately 58,000 pounds of ground beef patties that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.
The products subject to recall are ''HAMBURGER PATTIES 100% GROUND BEEF'' in 35 lb. boxes. Each box has a label that reads ''PACKED ON: 11/14/00'' and ''EXP. DATE: 03/14/01.'' The box bears the establishment number ''EST. 7259A'' inside the USDA seal of inspection.
The ground beef was produced on Nov. 14 and distributed via a wholesale establishment to restaurants in Texas.
"Because of the potential for foodborne illness, we want consumers to be aware of the recall,'' said Ronald Hicks, acting FSIS administrator. ''Purchasers or consumers of ground beef may wish to ask restaurants if the meal contains the recalled ground beef.''
The problem was discovered through USDA testing.
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 or media with questions about the recall may contact Jennifer Barractato, Hill & Knowlton Public Relations, at (800) 637-7259.
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. A safe handling graphic is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/pubs/consumerpubs.htm#GRAPHICS
|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