AL food inspectors conduct recall effectiveness check on ground - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AL food inspectors conduct recall effectiveness check on ground beef due to possible E. coli

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The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Consumer Food Safety Inspectors are conducting recall effectiveness checks on packages of ground beef due to possible E. coli contamination.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced that the National Beef Packing Co., a Liberal, Kansas, establishment, is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The following products are subject to recall:

• 10 lb. packages of "National Beef" 80/20 Coarse Ground Chuck, package code "0481."
• 10 lb. packages of "National Beef" 81/19 Coarse Ground Beef, package code "0421."
• 10 lb. packages of "National Beef" 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, package code "0484."

All these products have a "USE BY/SELL BY DATE" of June 14, 2013, and bear the establishment number "EST. 208A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.  

The products were produced on May 25, 2013, and shipped to various institutions and retail establishments in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama and Arizona.  FSIS and the establishment are concerned that some product may be frozen and in shoppers' freezers.

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.

WHAT IS E. COLI?

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2-8 days (3-4 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called HUS. This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults.

Symptoms of HUS may include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, decreased urination, and swelling. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

Consumers with questions should contact the company at (877) 857-4143 for details about the recall and their return and reimbursement policy.  Media with questions regarding the recall should contact the company's spokesperson, Keith Welty, at (816) 713-8631.  Additional information can be found at www.nationalbeef.com.

I NEED HELP

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.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Dept. of Agriculture & Industries

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