October 28, 2000Nebraska Firm Recalls Ground
NE (SafetyAlerts) - Omaha Steaks
International, Inc. said late Friday it is voluntarily recalling approximately 22,000
pounds of frozen ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The ground beef products being
recalled bear the establishment number "1198A" inside the USDA seal of
inspection and a production code beginning with "07180" and ending with
"21," "22," or "25." Products subject to recall are:
"GROUND BEEF BURGERS (OMAHA
STEAKS BURGERS)" in 48 ozs. boxes of 12 burgers, 4 ozs. each. Each box is marked with
item number "658."
"OMAHA STEAKS ANGUS GROUND
BEEF CHUCK PATTIES" in 12.5 lb. boxes of 25 burgers, 8 oz. each. Each box is marked
with item number "3611080."
"GROUND BEEF BURGERS (OMAHA
STEAKS BURGERS)" in 24 ozs. boxes of 6 burgers, 4 ozs. each. Each box is marked with
item number "1249."
"GROUND BEEF" in 50 lbs.
boxes containing two 25 lb. bags. Each box is marked with item number "0710004."
HORIZON brand "GROUND BEEF CHUCK PATTIES (ANGUS)" in 10 lb. boxes of 32 burgers,
5 oz. each. Each box is marked with item number "4011050."
The ground beef was produced on July
18 and distributed via mail order; door-to-door sales; retail establishments; the
Internet; and institutional sales nationwide.
The problem was discovered when
Connecticut officials contacted FSIS about suspected illnesses. FSIS's samples of the
product tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. A link between the illnesses and the product
has not been confirmed.
"Because of the potential hazard
of foodborne illness from consumption of meat products contaminated with harmful bacteria
such as E. coli O157:H7, I urge consumers who have purchased the suspect product not to
eat it and return it to the place of purchase," said Thomas Billy, FSIS
administrator. "USDA is informing the public so consumers and institutions who may
have purchased and stored the product in their refrigerators or freezers can know to
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
Anyone concerned about an illness
should contact a physician.
Media with questions about the recall
may contact Sharon Bargas, public relations manager, Omaha Steaks, at (402) 597-3000.
Customers with questions may contact the toll-free Omaha Steaks product safety information
line, at (877) 789-7117. The information line can be reached from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(Central Time) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central Time) on Saturday, and 12
p.m. through 5 p.m. (Central Time) on Sunday. Information can also be found on the Omaha
Steaks website at www.omahasteaks.com/safety.
Consumers with food safety questions
can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. The hotline can
be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday, and recorded food
safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
Safety Alerts compiles
comprehensive safety recall information for the United States. SafeMail is a free email
service to warn consumers of faulty products and contaminated foods. For complete
information regarding current recalls, past recalls and timely product warning
notification visit: www.safetyalerts.com.