FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Imported Canadian Ground Beef Patties

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Adam Tarr

Editor's Note: New Food Classics is based in Burlington, Ontario. The plant that produced this product is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2012-The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing a public health alert for ground beef patties imported from Canada because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and may be associated with an illness in Canada.

FSIS was notified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that ground beef patties associated with a Canadian health alert may have been exported to the United States. There has been one reported illness associated with ground beef product produced by the same establishment in Canada.

Products imported to the United States include: [View Labels (PDF Only)]
  • 10 lb. boxes of PRIME RIB BEEF PATTIES 8 oz, with product code 55317, and production code 11 NO 22
  • 10 lb boxes of PRIME RIB BEEF PATTIES 71g, with product code 55391 and bearing a production code of 11 SE 01 or 12 JA 04

PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit
www.fsis.usda.gov

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 160° F, as measured with a food thermometer, before eating. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
Imported products were produced by New Food Classics, CFIA Establishment 761 of Saskatoon, Ontario and were imported by Sysco Food Services to a distribution center in Blaine, Wash. for use by food service institutions.

FSIS has been unable to make contact with Sysco Food Services to discuss a recall of this product, so the agency is issuing a Public Health Alert to inform food service operations and consumers. FSIS will continue to provide information as it becomes available, including information about any related recall..

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.

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.
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Last Modified Jul 22, 2013