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April 13, 1999

Tops Friendly Market Recalls 280 Pounds of Ground Beef

WASHINGTON, DC (SafetyAlerts) - Tops Friendly Market, a retail store in Oswego, N.Y., is voluntarily recalling about 280 pounds of ground beef 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 range from one pound packages to three pound packages of 80%, 85%, and 90% lean ground beef, and one to three pound packages of Tenderettes (ground and tenderized beef chuck). The packages bear no brand name, but are marked with a sell-by date of either April 6 or April 7, 1999.

The product was produced on April 5, 1999, and was distributed only in the Oswego area from the Tops Friendly Market #509 located at 293 F State Route 104.

The problem was discovered through a routine FSIS monitoring sample for retail establishments. No illnesses associated with consumption of the recalled product have been reported to FSIS.

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

"Because of the potential hazard of foodborne illness from consumption of undercooked or underprocessed meat products contaminated with pathogens such as the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria, we urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to eat it and to return it to the place of purchase," said Margaret Glavin, associate administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. "USDA is informing the public so consumers who may have purchased and stored product in their freezers can know to check," Glavin said.

Consumers with questions for Tops about the recall may phone Jim DeMartino at 1-800-522-2522.

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.