recall2

The Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a “Class I, High Health Risk” recall due to contamination of beef by E. coli O157:H7.

A HIGH RISK, Class 1 recall is a “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nebraska Beef, Ltd., an Omaha, Neb., establishment is recalling approximately 1.2 million pounds of primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced late yesterday.

The recall is “Class 1,” meaning there is a “reasonable probability” that eating the beef “will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death,” the USDA said. It is the most dangerous level of the three classes of recall.

These beef products were produced on June 17, June 24 and July 8, 2008. The shipping containers and product labels bear the establishment number “EST. 19336” inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as the brand “Coleman Natural.” However, these products were sent to establishments and retail stores nationwide for further processing and will likely not bear the establishment number “EST. 19336” on products available for direct consumer purchase.

The problem was discovered through a joint investigation with state departments of health and agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FSIS. To date, 31 cases in 12 states and Canada have been identified in the investigation.

And if that’s not bad enough, last month, Nebraska Beef recalled 5.3 million pounds of material used in making ground beef after 40 illnesses were reported in connection with its ground beef.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_029_2008_Release/index.asp

Dutch’s Meat, Inc., a Trenton, N.J., firm, is recalling approximately 13,275 pounds of ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The following products are subject to the Class I, high health risk recall:

• 10-pound plastic bags of “DUTCH’S MEATS, INC., GROUND BEEF.”

• 10-pound vacuum-packed plastic bags of “DUTCH’S MEATS, INC., GROUND BEEF.”

• 10-pound boxes of “DUTCH’S MEATS, INC., HAMBURGER PATTIES.”

The ground beef products bear the establishment number “EST. 5424” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The recalled products were packaged from May 27, 2008 through June 6, 2008. This packaging date is stamped on the bag label or box. Read the rest of this entry »

JSM Meat Holdings Company, Inc., a Chicago, Ill., firm, is voluntarily recalling an undetermined amount of beef products intended for use in ground products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

Thr recall involves beef products distributed for further processing in 11 states – Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The following products are subject to recall:
30-, 60- pound boxes, combo boxes or 47-gallon barrels of “MORREALE MEAT” beef products labeled as “Boneless Chucks,” “Boneless Clods,” “Flat Rounds,” “Gooseneck Rounds,” “Knuckle,” “Heel Meat,” “Scotties,” “Trimmings 50,” “Trimmings 60,” “Trimmings 65,” “Trimmings 70,” “Trimmings 75,” “Trimmings 80,” “Trimmings 85,” or “Trimmings 90.”

The beef products bear the establishment number “EST. 6872” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria 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.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_016_2008_Release/index.asp

Videotaping costly and not practical, he says; response angers House members.

The Bush administration said today that the government doesn’t need more inspectors and new technologies to police slaughterhouses after the country’s largest beef recall earlier this year. His response angered House members, who said the recall of beef slaughtered in the Hallmark/Westland plant in Chino, Calif., showed a need for improvements. Read rest of story here

The Department of Agriculture on Thursday released a list of all school districts nationwide that received beef included in last month’s recall of 143 million pounds of meat from a California slaughterhouse.

The 226-page document, which the agency released under pressure from lawmakers, includes a list of so-called “school food authorities” — the rough equivalent of school districts — that received the recalled beef.

The meat was recalled because cows that cannot stand on their own — called “downer cows” — are typically banned from the human food supply because they are more susceptible to certain illnesses, including mad cow disease.

Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat from Connecticut, said the Department of Agriculture should also release a complete list of retail stores that received the recalled beef.

The list of school districts that received the beef is available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/safety/Hallmark-Westland_byState.pdf

The Agriculture Department suspended with pay Friday an inspector and a supervisor who monitored the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company plant responsible for the 143 million pounds of beef that were recalled, a union official said.

Stan Painter, chairman of the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals, said the department told him it “had obtained information warranting placing” the two employees on administrative leave.

The suspensions are the USDA’s latest response to rules violations at the Chino, Calif., plant that led to the largest beef recall in U.S. history, on Feb. 17. Today, Secretary Ed Schafer told senators the agency was increasing random checks and is considering installing video cameras in holding pens for added surveillance.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/bal-beef0229,0,1085176.story>

The record beef recall by Westland/Hallmark has extended into processed foods, and now General Mills, Nestle, and ConAgra, three of the world’s largest food makers, are removing some of their products from supermarket shelves.

According to reports:

General Mills – GM has recalled 35,000 cases of Progresso Italian Wedding soup containing the tainted beef.

Nestle – Nestle has recalled 49,264 cases of Hot Pocket sandwiches with beef that came from the slaughterhouse. The products included in the recall are Hot Pockets Philly Steak & Cheese sandwiches as well as some Hot Pockets Croissant Crust Philly Steak & Cheese sandwiches that were sold in two-pack boxes.

ConAgra – Items containing tainted beef include Slim Jim meat and cheese sticks, Pemmican beef jerky, Hunt’s spaghetti sauce with meat flavor, one Banquet macaroni & cheese meal, Hunts spaghetti sauce with ground beef, Hunts Manwich Original Sloppy Joe with ground beef, and a small quantity of foodservice and private-label lasagna with beef. 

The product codes were not available so consumers should return any of these products to their grocers.

http://www.pe.com/reports/2008/cattle/stories/PE_News_Local_D_consumer28.3cc4a71.html, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120407469460895261.html?mod=googlenews_wsj, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120423592389600905.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

General Mills Inc. and Nestle, two of the world’s largest food makers, have asked supermarkets to remove some of their products affected by the biggest U.S. meat recall.

General Mills said it recalled 35,000 cases of Progresso Italian Wedding soup containing beef that a supplier got from the Westland/Hallmark Meat Packing Co. in Chino. Nestle Prepared Foods Co. recalled 49,264 cases of Hot Pocket sandwiches with beef a vendor obtained from the slaughterhouse.

Food makers responded to a Feb. 22 letter from Westland/Hallmark issuing a voluntary recall of more than 143 million pounds of raw and frozen beef produced from Feb. 1, 2006, through Feb. 15, 2008.

Federal investigations determined the beef unfit for people to eat because of improper inspection.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-meat28feb28,1,1805059.story

Industrial beef alternative

February 28, 2008

Freaked out over the recent record-shattering meat/food recall but can’t bring yourself to give up beef? Check out your local resources for grass-fed. Grass fed cattle have fewer cases of Ecoli than their corn-fed, industrial-farmed relatives.

Why? Cows didn’t evolve to eat corn, but because it’s cheap, it’s become the food of choice for industrial cattle farms. Corn-based diets, however, lead to cows with unnaturally acidic colons, in which E. coli thrives. Grass-fed cattle don’t have that problem because they eat the food nature intended (grass), resulting in healthy acid levels. Even corn-fed cattle that are switched to a grass-only diet five days before slaughter have levels of E. coli 1,000 times lower than those on a corn-only diet, according to a 2003 study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.

For more information on corn and it’s effect on cattle and our food supply, read Michael Pollan’s, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Source: National Geographic’s Green Guide, food safety quiz . Take it and see how much you know about food safety basics.