Congressional and Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2013 – Costco, in Coon Rapids, Minn., is recalling an undetermined amount of lean fresh 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 product subject to recall is 383 units of 88% lean fresh ground beef (88/12). It bears the Costco item number 33724 under the Costco label. This product was sold directly to 342 consumers in a Costco located at 12547 Riverdale Blvd., Coon Rapids, Minn., between Sept. 4 and Sept. 7.
FSIS was notified of an E. coli O157:H7 illness on Oct. 17, 2013. Working in conjunction with Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture and Department of Health, FSIS determined that there is a link between the ground beef product from Costco and this illness. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, 1 case-patient has been identified in Minnesota with an estimated illness onset date of Sept. 29, 2013. The product was prepared from bull meat and finely ground beef from the Costco Wholesale plant in Tracy, Calif., and bench trim prepared at the Costco Wholesale in Coon Rapids, Minn. The steaks or roasts that were the source of the bench trim may have originated from as many as 16 federally inspected establishments. FSIS continues to work with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Health on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
FSIS and Costco are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. Costco has already taken steps to contact every customer who purchased the ground beef product.
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, http://1.usa.gov/1cDxcDQ.
Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Costco at (800) 774-2678.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. 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. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Problems_With_Food_Products.
PREPARING PRODUCT FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION
Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.
Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
Color is NOT a reliable indicator that meat has been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria.
The only way to be sure the meat or poultry is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
- Fish: 145°F
- Beef, pork, lamb chops/steaks/roasts: 145°F with a three minute rest time
- ground meat: 160°F
- poultry: 165°F
- hot dogs: 160°F or steaming hot
Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or 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.|