Tainted beef potentially contaminated with E. coli may have you ordering chicken or fish for dinner tonight. A whopping 60,000 pounds of ground beef in at least three major grocery store chains are being recalled because they could be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. To date no illnesses have been reported. According to reports, “E. coli contamination was discovered at a plant in Ohio, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced in a press release Friday.
In what the USDA has labeled a “Class I Recall with a High Health Risk,” National Beef Packing Co., the fourth largest beef processor in the U.S., is recalling ground beef chubs produced on July 23 with a freeze date of August 12, as well as those produced on July 25 with a freeze date of August 14. Winn-Dixie Stores, Publix, Kroger and Walmart announced they were all recalling the meat.
Why is food safety is so important?
There may be one thing that most Democrats and Republicans can agree on: food safety. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which the President signed into law on January 4th, is potentially good news to everyone. Foodborne diseases cause about 76 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths each year.
What does the FSMA mean to you?
If you’ve ever gone to the supermarket and avoided buying a food because of a recent outbreak, this bill helps prevent that. Previously we’ve avoided things like alfalfa sprouts, peanut butter, spinach, tomatoes, peppers and the list goes on. The FSMA gives the FDA the power to inspect food production in the U.S. and imported foods ahead of time and more often. The goal is to catch problems before they occur instead of trying to contain the problem once it has spread.
While the FSMA will hopefully reduce contaminated food, we each need to do our parts. Keep in mind these:
FYI Food Safety Tips:
- Keep food out in the temperature danger zone (between 40 and 140 F) for the least amount of time possible, definitely less than two hours. This range provides an ideal temperature for bacteria to grow. Thaw foods in the refrigerator or microwave not the counter top.
- Avoid cross-contamination: Raw meats should never come in direct or indirect contact with other foods. After cutting raw chicken, wash the knife with soap and hot water before cutting your zucchini. The same goes for the cutting board and your hands!
- Use a thermometer when cooking meats, poultry, egg or seafood, and follow the USDA guidelines for ideal internal temperatures.
- When in doubt, throw it out: If it smells kind of funny, be safe and toss it in the garbage. Your stomach will thank you.
- Summertime: Consider your picnic table – meat, eggs, sprouts might go bad in the summer sun. Keep foods in the cooler and bring them out in small portions.
National Beef Packing Co. states the products subject to recall include:
“Ground beef chubs produced on July 23, with a freeze-by date of Aug. 12: Boxes containing six 10-pound chubs of “National Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck.” These can be identified by the product code 483. Boxes containing eight 5-pound chubs of “National Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck.” These can be identified by the product code 684. Boxes containing twelve 3-pound chubs of “National Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck.” These can be identified by the product code 782 or 785. Boxes containing six 10-pound chubs of “National Beef 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck.” These can be identified by the product code 787.
Ground beef chubs produced on July 25, with a freeze-by date of Aug. 14: Boxes containing eight 10-pound chubs of “National Beef 81/19 Fine Ground Beef.” These can be identified by the product code 431. Boxes containing eight 10-pound chubs of “National Beef 90/10 Fine Ground Beef.” These can be identified by the product code 471. Boxes containing six 10-pound chubs of “National Beef 86/14 Fine Ground Round.” These can be identified by the product code 494.
Anyone who has some of the beef can return it to their local Sam’s Club for a full refund or call National Beef consumer hotline at 877-800-6848.
Read more: http://www.wtae.com/health/28872284/detail.html#ixzz1VD82LKGl