|WASHINGTON, May 21, 2008 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for approximately 808 pounds of ground beef products produced at Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., a Lexington, Neb., establishment that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., (EST. 245L), sold chubs of 85% lean, 15% fat coarse ground beef to Sherm's Food-4-Less retail establishment in Medford, Oregon, who then processed this ground beef into various sized packages of ground beef products and sold to consumers between May 7 and May 19.
FSIS is issuing a public health alert rather than a recall because FSIS has confirmed that none of the affected products remain available for sale at this retail establishment. Consumers that may have purchased various sized packages of ground beef products at this retail establishment between May 7 and May 19 are urged to check their refrigerators and freezers and discard or return the ground beef products for a refund.
The problem was discovered after a microbiological test for E. coli O157:H7 was reported positive by another recipient of the product subject to this alert. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Anyone with signs or symptoms of foodborne illness should consult a medical professional.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria 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.
Consumers with questions about this alert should contact the Tyson hotline at (866) 328-3156. Media with questions about this alert should contact company Director of Communications Gary Mickelson at (479) 290-6111.
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.