STATEMENT CONAGRA BEEF RECALL
Linda Swacina, Acting Administrator
Food Safety And Inspection Service
"Our highest priority at the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is
protecting public health through a rigorous system of meat and poultry
inspection. Despite these efforts, tragically, a number of Colorado citizens
have become ill from the consumption of tainted meat. This is deeply troubling.
In response, FSIS has sent an investigation team to the ConAgra plant in
Colorado and has implemented a new policy to more quickly trace back tainted
"On June 14, an FSIS inspector took a sample at a facility that further
processes coarse ground beef. On June 19, following the minimum five-day period
required to confirm the presence or absence of E. coli O157:H7, the
sample tested positive. Production had been held at the plant from the date the sample was taken, resulting in no tainted product reaching consumers from
"Besides testing at the grinding plant, an FSIS investigation was launched to
determine all possible sources of the pathogen. At that time, there had been no
reported cases of E. coli infections in Colorado.
"Analysis resulted in ConAgra being identified as the source of the
contamination, which triggered the
"In order to expedite recalls even more, FSIS will now inform the suppliers to
a further processing facility, both verbally and in writing, when a positive
E. coli O157:H7 sample is discovered in ground beef supplied to that
facility. This will allow all the suppliers to take proactive steps without
waiting for results from the FSIS investigation."