The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has ordered a beef recall of suspected contaminated meat after carrying out a routine monitoring inspection. Until now there have been no reports of illness.
The National Beef Packing Co. of Liberal, Kansas is complying with the order and has announced that it is recalling 50,100 pounds of ground beef that may contain E.coli bacteria.
The potentially deadly bacterium can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure. Particularly vulnerable are the very young, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems. These groups are the most susceptible to food borne illness, the USDA said.
The products were produced on July 18 and shipped in 40-pound to 60-pound cases to retailers, wholesalers, and food service distributors across America. The recalled meat carries the number "EST. 208A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.
National Beef Packing Co. noted in statement posted online that the recall is voluntary and said, "We are working closely with authorities to investigate this matter and are contacting our customers who have purchased this product.''
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures market did not see any negative effect. Financial analyst Jack Salzsieder said, "It's nothing. It's so small compared to what we produce and nobody was sickened.....packers are careful about what they do. Even if there was the slightest hint of a problem, they'd recall it," he said.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service urges "all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F.'' They added, "The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature....individuals concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider.
For more information about this beef recall consumers can call 1-866-761-9472 or go to http://www.nationalbeef.com.
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