Gee thanks – USDA will list retail stores receiving recalled meat and poultry products

July 11, 2008

On the heels of another 5 million pound ground beef recall, and with over 1000 people sickened and no answers in the salmonella contaminated tomato/pepper/cilantro fiasco, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer today announced that beginning next month, the USDA will begin listing retail stores receiving meat and poultry products involved in Class I recalls – those of the most serious concern to public health.

The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will post on its site a list of retail stores that receive products subject to Class I recalls (only), the highest risk category, generally within three to ten business days of issuing the recall release. Retail stores include supermarkets or other grocery stores, convenience stores, meat markets, wholesale clubs and supercenters. FSIS will not identify distribution centers, institutions or restaurants, since they prepare food for immediate consumption without packaging that is identifiable or available to consumers.

Recall announcements from FSIS will include the name of the establishment recalling the meat or poultry, the reason for the recall, a description of the recalled product, any identifying product codes, the recall classification and contact information at FSIS and the company involved. The additional information releasing the names of retail stores receiving recalled meat and poultry will improve the consumers’ ability to identify and discard or return the products they may have purchased and may still have in their home by checking the list of stores and locations.

Bottom line: 1. In order to be sure that meat and or poultry you purchase will not be recalled, freeze all store bought meat and poultry for at least 10 days prior to consumption. When ready to consume, check FSIS website to make sure said meat and or poultry is not contaminated and has not been recalled. 2. Think twice before eating meat and or poultry at a restaurant or institution. 3. Don’t buy meat or poultry if you don’t know where it came from. 4. Become a vegetarian.

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2008/07/0183.xml

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