Kansas Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination
Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., an Emporia, Kan. establishment, is recalling approximately 131,300 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:
FSIS and the establishment are concerned that consumers may freeze the product before use and that some product may be in consumers' freezers. FSIS strongly encourages consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product subject to this recall.
FSIS became aware of the problem yesterday (Sept. 26, 2011) when the agency was notified by the Ohio Department of Health of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses located in Butler County. Illness onset dates range from Sept. 8, through Sept. 11, 2011. The on-going investigation involved collecting leftover ground beef from the patients' home on Sept. 19 which tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture's laboratory today (Sept. 27).
FSIS is continuing to work with Ohio public health partners on this investigation.
E. coli O157:H7 is a 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. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.
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.
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 questions regarding the recall should contact the company at (866) 328-3156. Media with questions regarding the recall should contact the company's Director of Public Relations, 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.