Nebraska firm expands recall of beef products
August 17, 2008
Nebraska Beef, Ltd., an Omaha, NE establishment, is clarifying information from and expanding its recall announced on Aug. 8 of primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef to include such products bearing the company name “Nebraska Beef Ltd” that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Aug. 14.
The total amount of product subject to recall is approximately 1.36 million pounds. The expansion of approximately 160,000 pounds and the clarifying information include:
– Primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef produced on June 24, whose shipping containers and labels bear the establishment number “EST. 19336” inside the USDA mark of inspection and the company name “Nebraska Beef Ltd” The products may or may not bear a green sticker.
– Primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef produced on July 8, whose shipping containers and labels bear the establishment number “EST. 19336” inside the USDA mark of inspection, the company name “Nebraska Beef Ltd.” as well as a 2-inch plain, circular green sticker on one side of the shipping box.
Poundage of products bearing the green sticker were included in the 1.2 million pounds originally recalled, but were not identified in the product description with the company name “Nebraska Beef Ltd.” in the Aug. 8 announcement.
FSIS has concluded that the production practices employed by Nebraska Beef, Ltd., on June 24 were insufficient to effectively control E. coli O157:H7. The products subject to the expansion may have been produced under insanitary conditions. The expansion was not prompted by foodborne illness investigations.
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These products were sent to establishments and retail stores nationwide for further processing and will likely not bear the establishment number “EST. 19336” on products available for direct consumer purchase.
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact company Vice President of Administration James Timmerman at 402-733-0456.
The problem prompting the recall announced on Aug. 8 was discovered through a joint investigation with state departments of health and agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FSIS. As of Aug. 11, there were 26 culture-confirmed cases in 10 states and one culture-confirmed case in Canada identified as part of this outbreak. This count is based on continuing testing, analysis and investigation.
FSIS is continuing its investigation into any products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 or that are associated with illnesses and will take appropriate action when necessary.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Anyone with signs or symptoms of foodborne illness should consult a medical professional.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The tool-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.