|WASHINGTON, July 31, 2000--Jac Pac Foods, a Manchester, N.H., firm is
voluntarily recalling approximately 210,000 pounds of ground beef patties that may be
contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agricultures Food
Safety and Inspection Service announced today. |
The ground beef patties were distributed
to retail stores and wholesalers. The retail stores are located in Massachusetts,
Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. The wholesalers
are located in Iowa, Maine, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York,
Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Vermont, and Bermuda.
The products being recalled from retail stores are:
- "TRADER JOES" ground beef patties with a sell by date of
- "STOP & SHOP" ground round with a manufacturing code beginning with
- "FRESH MADE" ground beef sold by Shoplink.com with a manufacturing code
beginning with "161."
All products bear the plant code "EST. 785" inside the USDA seal of
The product being recalled from wholesalers involves 10 to 36 pound boxes of ground
beef patties. The boxes bear the plant code "EST. 785" and the product code
"Because of the potential hazard of foodborne illness from consumption of meat
products contaminated with pathogens such as the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria, I urge
consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to eat it and return it to the place
of purchase," said Margaret O'K. Glavin, associate FSIS administrator. "USDA is
informing the public so consumers who may have purchased and stored the product in their
freezers can know to check."
The problem was discovered during an investigation of illnesses reported in Vermont.
The product has not been definitively linked to the illnesses. The investigation is
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly pathogen that can cause bloody diarrhea
and dehydration. The very young, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems
are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Anyone concerned about an illness should
contact a physician.
Media with questions about the recall may contact Chuck Hungler, Jac Pac Foods, at
(800) 497-2333. Consumers with questions may contact Darryl Armstrong, Jac Pac Foods, at
Consumers with 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, and recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a
NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov
|PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION
Consumers should only eat ground beef patties that
have been cooked to a safe temperature of 160 ºF. When a ground beef patty is cooked to
160 ºF throughout, it can be safe and juicy, regardless of color.
The only way to be sure a ground beef patty
is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use an accurate
digital instant-read thermometer.
Color is not a reliable indicator that
ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria
such as E. coli O157:H7.
Eating a pink or red ground beef patty
without first verifying that the safe temperature of 160 ºF has been reached is a
significant risk factor for foodborne illness.
Thermometer use to ensure proper cooking
temperature is especially important for those who cook or serve ground beef patties to
people most at risk for foodborne illness because E. coli O157:H7 can lead to
serious illness or even death. Those most at risk include young children, the elderly, and
those with compromised immune systems.