Less than a month after the last beef recall and rash of E. coli poisonings, the Department of Agriculture has announced a new recall that has sickened 11 people.
The firm that produced the beef, S&S Foods LLC., in Azusa, Calif., is calling back 153,630 pounds of frozen ground beef sent to distributors in Milwaukee, Wis., and Allentown, Penn. The identifying information released about the product won't help consumers avoid it; it's up to the distributors and their clients to remove it from the market.
(Just in case, here it is: 30-pound boxes of 742798 MFST, 100% GROUND BEEF BULK, 80/20, 1LB. BRICK., bearing the establishment number EST. 20375 inside the USDA mark of inspection, and a case code beginning 06238 ink-jet printed on the side of the box.)
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Keith Dunning at (626) 625-2039.
Because this recall is classified as "high risk," the USDA should, under its new policy announced amid the July recall, release the names of retailers that have sold the bad beef. The USDA's initial announcement did not include any information about retailers, however.
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.
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit fsis.usda.gov
Although these products are not available at retail establishments, consumers preparing ground beef products should heed the following advice.
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.
Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160°F.
Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90°F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
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