A Michigan beef distributor has recalled literally tons of beef products after an E. Coli scare in the Great Lakes area.
Wolverine Packing Company, a Detroit, Michigan establishment, is recalling approximately 1.8 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday, May 22.
The ground beef products were produced between March 31, 2014 and April 18, 2014. For a full list of products that were recalled, click the link.
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 2574B” and will have a production date code in the format “Packing Nos: MM DD 14” between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14.” These products were shipped to distributors for restaurant and retail use nationwide. There was no distribution of the products to the Department of Defense, the National School Lunch Program or catalog/internet sales.
Factors that can contribute to the size of the recall include potential contamination of additional products due to a lack of microbiological independence between lots in a production day, as well as a deficiency in supportive record-keeping by distributors.
FSIS was notified of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on May 8, 2014. Working in conjunction with public health partners from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FSIS determined through a traceback investigation that there is a link between the ground beef products from Wolverine Packing Company and this illness cluster. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, 11 case-patients have been identified in 4 states with illness onset dates ranging from April 22, 2014 to May 2, 2014. Additional information may be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2014/O157H7-05-14/index.html. FSIS continues to work with our state and federal public health partners on this investigation and provide updated information as it becomes available.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
FSIS advises 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. 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, http://1.usa.gov/1cDxcDQ.
Media with questions regarding the recall can contact Chuck Sanger, Spokesperson, Wolverine Packing Company, at (262) 563-5118 and consumers can call (800) 521-1390.Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.