June 30, 2003
Illinois Firm Recalls Beef Products
For Possible E. coli O157:H7
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-U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said
that Stampede Meat, Inc., a Chicago, Ill., establishment, is voluntarily
recalling approximately 739,000 pounds of frozen beef products, mostly
vacuum packaged steaks, that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The products subject to recall were produced between March 17 and March 22,
2003, and bear the establishment code "EST. 19113" inside the USDA mark of
inspection. The products were distributed to restaurants, institutions and
retail stores nationwide. The products were also distributed to consumers
through door-to-door sales. Additionally, the products were distributed to
institutions in Canada.
The recall was initiated after epidemiological case studies conducted by
public health officials concluded the recalled product may be linked to five
E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Minnesota, Kansas and Michigan.
Public health officials from FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, and several state health departments are continuing to
investigate the extent of the outbreak and determine if additional products
are linked to illnesses reported. Anyone concerned about an illness should
contact a physician immediately.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody
diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with
compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.
Generally, steaks are not considered a high-risk source of E. coli O157: H7.
However, the products subject to recall were injected with tenderizers and
flavor-enhancing solutions, and that process may have transferred the
bacteria from the surface to the inside of the product. Consumers should
return the recalled products to the point of purchase and cook similar
(tenderized) products to an internal temperature of 160 degrees as measured
with a food thermometer.
Consumers and media with questions about the recall may contact Bill Asleson,
company executive manager, at (800) 353-0933. Consumers with other food
safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at
1-800-535-4555. The hotline is available in English and Spanish and can be
reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.
Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
Product List Click Here.