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Texas Firm Recalls Italian Sausage For Possible Contamination With Plastic

         WASHINGTON, June 30, 2000--Owens Country Sausage, Inc., a Richardson, Texas, firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 8,500 pounds of Italian sausages that may be contaminated with plastic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

        The product being recalled is 16-ounce rolls of "Owens" brand "ITALIAN SAUSAGE." Each package label has a code of 5A3 or 5B3, a "Sell-By" date of "JUN 17 2000," and "Est. 403" appears on the label inside the USDA seal of inspection.

        The product was produced on May 3, and was distributed to retail stores in the following states--Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas.

        "We urge consumers to check their refrigerators and freezers," said Ron Hicks, FSIS acting administrator. "If they find any of the products listed above, consumers should not eat them, but return them to the point of purchase."

        The problem was initially discovered after a consumer called the company to complain about finding plastic in the product.

        Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Karrie Menz, Quality Assurance Manager, Owens Country Sausage, Inc., at (972) 235-7181. Media with questions may contact Vinson Kirchner, President, Owens Country Sausage, Inc., at (972) 235-7181.

        Consumers with other food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The hotline can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.

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NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov

USDA RECALL CLASSIFICATIONS

Class I This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

Class II This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.

Class III This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.




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