Congressional and Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, July 31, 2013 – National Beef Packing Company, a Liberal, Kan., firm, is recalling approximately 50,100 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The following products are subject to recall:
All these products bear the establishment number “EST. 208A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on July 18, 2013 and were shipped in 40 to 60 pound cases to retailers, wholesalers, and food service distributors nationwide.
The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring which confirmed a positive result for E.coli O157:H7. An investigation determined National Beef Packing Co. was the sole supplier of the source materials used to produce the positive product. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers (including restaurants) of the recall and to ensure that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium 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 illness.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.
Media with questions regarding the recall should contact National Beef’s spokesperson, Keith Welty, at 816-713-8631. Consumers can call 1-866-761-9472 or go to www.nationalbeef.com for the link to details about the recall and the company’s return and reimbursement policy.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. "Ask Karen" live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. 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.
PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION
Wash hands before and after handling raw meat with warm/hot (preferred) or cold soapy running water by rubbing hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot (preferred), soapy water and clean up any spills right away. The mechanical action of vigorous rubbing of hands and utensils/surfaces creates friction that helps to dislodge bacteria and viruses from hands and surfaces.
Additionally, warm/hot water helps to dissolve fats/foods, aiding in cleaning/microbe removal and can also assist in deactivation of pathogens. For more information on hand washing, go to http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
If soapy water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations. However, sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, including viruses.
Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be thoroughly cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and their juices and thoroughly cooked foods. Thoroughly cook ground meat such as beef to an internal temperature of 160º F, as measured with a food thermometer, before eating. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90º F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
|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.|