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New York Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2002 — Fairbank Reconstruction Corp., doing business as Fairbank Farms, an Ashville, N.Y., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 320,000 pounds of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The products subject to recall bear the establishment code "EST. 492" inside the USDA mark of inspection.  The products were produced on November 5 and November 6 and distributed to retail stores nationwide.

"Consumers need to be aware of this recall," said Dr. Garry L. McKee, FSIS administrator. "I strongly encourage purchasers of ground beef to ask their grocers if they carried the recalled product and to check their refrigerators and freezers. If consumers are in possession of the recalled product they should return it to the point of purchase."

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

The problem was discovered through microbiological traceback sampling.  FSIS has received no reports of illnesses. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

Media with questions about the recall may contact Daren Williams, company spokesperson, at (816) 512-2288.  Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Luella Sard, company sales representative, at (716) 782-2000, ext. 201.

Consumers with other food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.  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.

The following products subject to recall have the sell by date, "11-22-02," or "11-23-02."  The products subject to recall are 48 to 60 lb. boxes of:

·        "Coarse Ground Beef, 93/07, 02593."

·        "Coarse Ground Beef, 75/25, 02675."

·        "85/15, Ground Beef, 02685."

·        "Coarse Ground CHUCK, 02700."

·        "FINE GROUND BEEF, 75/25, 05100."

·        "FINE GROUND BEEF, 80/20, CHUCK, 05200."

·        "FINE GROUND BEEF, 86/14, ROUND, 05300."

·        "FINE GROUND BEEF, 93/07, 05400."

·        "FINE GROUND BEEF, 91/09, SIRLOIN, 05500."

·        "COARSE GROUND BEEF, 73-27, 12673."

·        "COARSE GROUND BEEF, 80-20, 12680."

·        "COARSE GROUND BEEF, 90-10, 12690."

·        "COARSE GROUND BEEF, 93-07, 12693."

·        "COARSE GROUND BEEF, 91-09, 22491."

·        "COARSE GROUND BEEF, 85-15 ROUND, 32505."

·        "GROUND BEEF CHUBS, 73/27, 61768."

·        "12 – 5 # packages of "GROUND BEEF CHUBS, 80439."

Each of these products subject to recall have the sell by date, "11.15.02," or "11.16.02."    The products subject to recall are 1-to-5 lb. trays of:

·        "Lancaster Brand, Beef Ground Sirloin, Contains 10% Fat."

·        "Lancaster Brand, Beef Ground Round, Contains 5% Fat."

·        "Lancaster Brand, Beef Ground Chuck, Contains 15% Fat."

·        "GROUND CHUCK PATTIES, 100% BEEF, CONTAINS 20% FAT."

·         "Ground Beef Chili Meat, CONTAINS 20% FAT."

·        "LEAN GROUND BEEF, 100% BEEF, CONTAINS 8% FAT."

·        "GROUND ROUND, 100% BEEF, CONTAINS 15% FAT."

·        "GROUND CHUCK, 100% BEEF, CONTAINS 20% FAT."

·        "GROUND BEEF, 100% BEEF, CONTAINS 27% FAT."

·        "GROUND BEEF ROUND PATTIES, 100% FAT, CONTAINS 15% FAT."

·        "EXTRA LEAN GROUND BEEF, 96/4."

·        "GROUND BEEF CHUCK, 20% FAT."

·        "GROUND BEEF ROUND, 15% FAT."

·        "GROUND BEEF, 100% BEEF, CONTAINS 25% FAT."

·        "FRESH GROUND BEEF, 10% FAT."

·        "FRESH GROUND BEEF, 15% FAT."

·        "GROUND BEEF SIRLOIN, 10% FAT."

·        "LEAN GROUND BEEF, 7% FAT."

·        "NEW, MEATLOAF & Meatball Mix, A blend of fresh ground beef, pork and veal."

·        "Lancaster BRAND, NEW, MEATLOAF & Meatball Mix, A blend of fresh ground beef, pork and veal."

·        "GROUND BEEF CHILI MEAT, 20% FAT."

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

PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-800-535-4555 or visit www.fsis.usda.gov

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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