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Kansas Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products For Misbranding

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2003—Excel Corporation, a Dodge City, Kan., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 26,600 pounds of fresh ground beef products because of misbranding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The product package labels state that the ground beef has been irradiated for food safety, when in fact the beef has not been treated with irradiation. Irradiation is an intervention intended to further control pathogens in ground beef.

The following products are subject to Safety Recalls,

1 pound packages of “IRRADIATED FOR FOOD SAFETY GROUND BEEF 93/7, SUREBEAM.” The packages carry various use or freeze by dates of Sept. 27 through Dec. 15.

1 pound packages of “IRRADIATED FOR FOOD SAFETY GROUND ROUND BEEF 85/15, SUREBEAM.” The packages carry various use or freeze by dates of Oct. 3 through Dec. 15.

The ground beef products were produced on various dates between Sept. 2 and Nov. 20 and were distributed to retail stores in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The problem was discovered by the Excel Corporation.

FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

Media with questions about the recall may contact company Director of Public Relations Mark Klein at 952-742-6211.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact company Customer Service Manager Luke Miller at 877-596-4069.

Consumers with other food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHOTLINE. The hotline is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.


NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site at


USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHotline or visit

Although the product being recalled should be returned to the place of purchase, consumers preparing other ground beef products should heed the following advice.

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.

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