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July 3, 2000

Top-Kut Meats Recalls Ground Beef and Sausage

Battle Creek, MI (SafetyAlerts) - Top-Kut Meats is voluntarily recalling approximately 4,200 pounds of ground beef, and 60 pounds of ground pork sausage that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

Five and ten pound bags of ground beef were shipped in boxes labeled with the establishment number "10024" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The boxes were also labeled with the product name, "Top-Kut Meats Ground Beef," and the code "262" or "254." The ground beef was produced on June 27 and June 29. The boxes of recalled ground beef were distributed to restaurants in the following Michigan counties: Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Eaton, Jackson, and Branch.

Recalled ground beef was also sold at the plant’s retail store, which is located at 15080 Beadle Lake Road. These packages have no identifying markings. Customers who have purchased ground beef from this location should return it.

The pork sausage was produced on June 29 and distributed to one restaurant in Calhoun County. Packages are labeled "Top-Kut Meats" "PORK SAUSAGE (FOR GRAVY)," have the establishment number "P-l0024" inside the mark of inspection and are of varying weights.

Consumers may wish to ask at the restaurant where they buy meals containing ground beef if the restaurant received any of the recalled product.

"Because of the potential for foodborne illness, we want consumers to be aware of the recall," said Thomas J. Billy, FSIS administrator. "Also, consumers who may have purchased product from the plant's retail store should check their freezers."

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbiological sampling.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly pathogen 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.

FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall may contact Tim Gunning, owner of Top Cut Meats, at (616) 965-2282.

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.

Notice of this product warning was sent via email to SafeMail subscribers July 3, 2000.

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