Holten Meat, Inc., a Sauget, Ill., establishment, is recalling approximately 241,000 pounds of ground beef product that may contain foreign materials (metal chips).

The following product is subject to recall:
20-pound cases of “100% PURE GROUND BEEF BULK.” Each case contains four (4) 5-pound Keeper Casing Chubs per box, which can be identified by the package code “12000” and the label code “1007982112000.” Each product is also labeled “PACKED FOR INSTITUTIONAL USE ONLY” — “NOT FOR RESALE.”

Each label bears the establishment number “EST-02591” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The product was produced on various dates from January 2009 through May 2009 and was distributed to institutions in Del., Fla., Ill., Ky., N.C., N.M., Ohio, S.C., Tenn., Texas, and Va.

The problem was discovered after the company received complaints from institutional customers about finding metal clips, which were used to seal the casing chubs, in the product. .

Consumer questions regarding the recall should be directed to the Company spokesperson, Pat Flanigan at: (618) 337-8400, ext. 261.


The USDA has recalled 96,000 pounds of ground beef with a “Class I” issue, meaning  that the risk of the E.Coli bacteria in the meat is very high.  The tainted beef comes from an Illinois manufacturer. A full list of contaminated beef products can be found on the Food Safety and Inspection Service website www.fsis.usda.gov

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.

Before grilling out, check and make sure that your ground beef is not on the recall list.  Always cook ground beef until well done.  Stay healthy and safe!

Rutgers Food Policy Institute (FPI) released a study today showing that many Americans fail to check their homes for recalled food products. Only about 60 percent of the studied sample reported having looked for recalled food in their homes, and only 10 percent said they had ever found a recalled food product. The study was based on a survey of 1,101 Americans interviewed by telephone from Aug. 4 to Sept. 24, 2008.

Most respondents also said they pay a great deal of attention to food recalls and, when they learn about them, they tell many other people. But 40 percent of these consumers think the foods they purchase are less likely to be recalled than those purchased by others, appearing to believe that food recalls just don‟t apply to them.

“Despite widespread awareness of recent foodborne illness outbreaks, and a sense that the number of food recalls is increasing, about half of Americans say that food recalls have had no impact on their lives,” said psychologist William K. Hallman, a professor of human ecology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

“Getting consumers to pay attention to news about recalls isn‟t the hard part but getting them to take the step of actually looking for recalled food products in their homes is a real challenge.” Hallman is also the director of FPI and lead author of the study report. Read the rest of this entry »

Between 2003 and 2007, the FDA’s main food-safety arm lost 20 percent of its science staff and 600 inspectors. The United States gets 15 percent of its food from foreign countries, including 60 percent of its fresh fruits and vegetables and 75 percent of its seafood, but just 1 percent of all imported food is inspected.

Source: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2009/04/11/food_safety_for_this_century/

On Friday, the FDA said that levels of melamine below 2.5 parts per million (ppm) in food does not pose a health risk to humans. The only exception is infant formula in which no safe level has been set.

This action brought a strong rebuke from Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chairwoman of the Agriculture– Food and Drug Administration subcommittee.

“While other countries throughout the world, including the European Union, are acting to ban melamine-contaminated products from China, the FDA has chosen to establish an acceptable level for melamine in food in an attempt to convince consumers that it is not harmful,” she said. “Not only is this is an insult to consumers, but it would appear that the FDA is condoning the intentional contamination of foods.”

By not insisting on a zero-tolerance policy with melamine, DeLauro said the FDA is failing to protect consumers, and is undercutting state officials in their efforts to keep melamine-tainted products out of stores. Read the rest of this entry »










Tristar Food, Jersey City, NJ is initiating a nationwide recall of all of their 100 ml plastic bottle packages of Blue Cat Flavor Drink (Lanmao) because it may be contaminated with melamine.

Consumers who have the product which is being recalled should stop using it immediately. If consumers have questions about possible health risks, they should contact their doctor.

Product was distributed nationwide in Asian grocery stores.

The product comes in 100 ml plastic bottles package with a BEST BEFORE date. There are four (4) flavors (see below) printed in Chinese. All packaging has a logo of blue cat on the back of the bottle and the word “blue cat” (in Chinese) on the front.

  1. Strawberry, with red strawberry picture on the bottle.
  2. Sweet Orange, with orange picture on the bottle
  3. Pineapple, with green pineapple picture on the bottle
  4. Peach, with pink peach picture on the bottle

No illnesses associated with this product have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated after FDA testing discovered that product was found to contain Melamine.


In an attempt to make the melamine-tainted infant formula/food situation clearer, FDA has managed to make it even more confusing. Today’s FDA press release:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued the results of its interim safety and risk assessment of melamine and melamine-related compounds in food, including infant formula.

A safety/risk assessment is a scientifically based methodology used to estimate the risk to human health from exposure to specified compounds. It is based on available data and certain scientific assumptions in the absence of data. The purpose of the FDA interim safety/risk assessment was to identify the level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in food which would not raise public health concerns. The interim safety/risk assessment evaluated the melamine exposure in infant formula and in other foods.

The safety/risk assessment, prompted by reports of melamine contamination of milk-derived ingredients and finished food products containing milk manufactured in China,  was conducted by scientists from FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the Center for Veterinary Medicine.  The FDA reviewed scientific literature on melamine toxicity.

Infant Formula

FDA is currently unable to establish any level of melamine and melamine-related compounds in infant formula that does not raise public health concerns.  Read the rest of this entry »

The FDA is alerting consumers that seven Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products are being recalled by the Taiwanese company, King Car Food Industrial Co. Ltd., due to possible contamination with melamine. King Car Food Industrial Co. used a non-dairy creamer manufactured by Shandong Duqing Inc., China, which was found to be contaminated with melamine.

The recalled products are:

Mr. Brown Mandheling Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown Arabica Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown Caramel Macchiato Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1)
Mr. Brown Mandhling Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1)
Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1)

The FDA recommends that consumers not consume any of the above Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products. The FDA also recommends that retailers and foodservice operators remove the products from sale or service. Read the rest of this entry »

Maple Leaf Foods, Canada’s largest meat processor, has released an update regarding its investigation into the likely cause of a recent Listeria monocytogenes contamination that has been linked to 19 deaths.

Following inspection of the plant and product tests by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, areas were found where bacteria may accumulate deep inside the slicing machines and avoid the sanitisation process. Other environmental factors such as a drain and the location of a freight elevator may have also contributed to the contamination, the company said.

The listeriosis outbreak led Maple Leaf last month to pull more than 200 products from store shelves in one of Canada’s largest food recalls, while the affected Toronto plant was shut down.

http://www.worldpoultry.net/home/id2205-58305/maple_leaf_identifies_listeria_contamination_source.html, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N05303467.htm

Without a nationwide traceability system for fruits and vegetables, identifying food contamination sources has been slow, inaccurate and difficult.

Recent outbreaks have threatened public health and damaged the image and sales in the fresh produce industry, according to Rabobank’s “U.S. Food Safety in Fresh Produce” report.

“Several factors play a role in the severity and awareness of food contamination outbreaks in the fresh produce sector: media, increasing consumption, imports of fresh produce and changing population demographics,” said Rabobank Analyst Marieke de Rijke who examines U.S. food safety in the report and podcast.

Much of the recent attention on food safety was brought on by an outbreak between April and July where more than 1,300 people in 43 states were infected with salmonella. Read the rest of this entry »