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Ground beef recalled on E.coli concerns
August 15th, 2011
03:35 PM ET

Ground beef recalled on E.coli concerns

A Kansas slaughterhouse is recalling  60,242 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with deadly E. coli 0157:H7,  the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service  says.

The beef was produced by National Beef Packing Co., LLC located in Dodge City. The problem was discovered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture when it conducted routine microbial testing at a facility that purchased the beef for further processing. A statement from the USDA says that an investigation revealed that the products from the Kansas facility were the “sole source for the positive product sample” and that no reports of illness have been received by the company or Food Safety Inspection Service in connection with eating the products.

E. Coli 0157:H7, also called E. coli or E. coli 0157, are the most commonly identified bacteria in North America, according to information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, which notes  that news reports about outbreaks of  “E. coli” infections  usually involve E. coli 0157.  The bacteria cause disease by making Shiga toxin, which can produce severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and low fever. The CDC information reveals that while most people get better within five to seven days, some infections can be life threatening, particularly for young children and elderly people.

The recalled products include boxes containing ground beef “chubs,” which are cylindrical plastic-covered rolls containing ground beef. The items include boxes of three-, five- and 10-pound chubs, produced on July 23, with a "Freeze By" date of August 12, 2011, and boxes of 10-pound ground beef chubs produced on July 25, 2011, with a "Freeze By" date of August 14, 2011.

The Food Safety Inspection Service warning says the products were shipped to distributors across the U.S. for further processing or distribution, and the products “may have been repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names. The retail stores that received the ground beef include Kroger stores in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee; Publix stores in  Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee;  Sam's Club stores in Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah,  Virginia and Wyoming; Wal-Mart stores in Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wyoming; and Winn-Dixie stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Consumers can take actions to prevent illness from ground beef products: Do not eat ground beef unless it has been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit; prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw meat separate from other food that won’t be cooked; do not use the color of a meat product to judge whether products are properly cooked — use a thermometer instead; make sure to refrigerate meat products within two hours of buying and even sooner if temperatures are higher than 90 degrees; refrigerate cooked meat within two hours of cooking; and remember the importance of washing hands, cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot soapy water.

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soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Jon

    Why does big government waste money on regulating these businesses? It should be an individual's responsibility to test all of their meat purchases for E. Coli, not the taxpayers.

    August 15, 2011 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dfsd

      This better be sarcasm/trolling.

      August 15, 2011 at 17:32 | Report abuse |
    • Maestro Geek

      Please don't feed the trolls...

      August 15, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You are a complete moron.

      August 15, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse |
    • kirstyloo

      Point very well taken. If you want to pay 1916 tax rates...you'll get 1916 services.

      August 15, 2011 at 17:49 | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Agreed, this is proof positive that the regulators are not doing their jobs.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      I'm sure it's sarcasm. It's also the very words that Libertarians have said to me, when they said that they wanted all of those useless federal agencies closed down and I mentioned the FDA.
      THAT isn't sarcasm, it's what I was told.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:10 | Report abuse |
    • Chitown Jason

      Haha! Yup, gotta watch out for those evil commie/socialist government agencies trying to get in the way of our dinner!

      August 15, 2011 at 18:24 | Report abuse |
    • Teddy

      Yeah, let's all live in the jungle.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
    • LongRaleigh

      E Coli is just a big liberal myth anyway

      August 15, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Teddy

      No let's feed the trolls..some ground beef.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:34 | Report abuse |
    • CDaeda

      Good idea? You can be the taste tester the rest of use will watch.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
    • cees

      you obvious have no intelligence with that comment, and no experience dealing with food or your little brain would understand

      August 15, 2011 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
    • thanks.

      i think my mom just bought one of those...at sam's. i will call her right now. i wish we had food inspectors again.

      August 15, 2011 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      If we left it up to businesses to regulate themselves, we would all be dead. This is a great demonstration of why we need more regulation. Corporate greed must be countered for us to survive.

      August 15, 2011 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Obvious troll is obvious. I am ashamed at the people who fail to see it.

      August 16, 2011 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
    • Monsanto is behind this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      They inject strains of e.coli into our foods!! Research this. They are purely evil. Boycott genetically modified foods because there is overwhelming scientific proof that it is the direct cause for the rise in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

      DO NOT BUY GMO OR GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN, SOY, WHEAT. ONLY BUY LOCAL OR ORGANIC FRUITS! Many people see the truth now but the media is trying to cover this over.

      August 16, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
  2. Maurice

    Jon, you are kidding, right? Please read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle if you're not. There is no reasonable belief that large, industrial meat packers will police themselves for the public's benefit.

    August 15, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maestro Geek

      Don't feed the trolls...

      August 15, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Don't talk silly talk. Teddy Roosevelt really LOVED fighting the Spanish American war while he and his men had the trots over the bad beef in tins that was sent to feed them and the public. ;)

      August 15, 2011 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
    • David

      I agree.
      If the Tea Party and Republicans had their way. They believe "let the markets police themselves". That would be a huge disaster. It's like giving an Alcoholic the keys to the bar. It's been proven time and time again that the markets CAN'T police themselves. Because they run in one mode, greed. With that, anything goes as long as you make a profit. Even if a few people die from their products.
      Against what every Reagan worshiping Republican believes, Capitalism needs to be regulated, it needs to be kept in check. Not because of the idea, but because of the human variable of greed.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • hit or miss

      i used to work in meat packing plants when i was a kid. there's a range...some are pretty bad. others are pretty good. good to know where your food comes from.

      August 15, 2011 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
    • JesseParis

      Upton Sinclair's THE JUNGLE is a "classic" by definition. It was written about the late 1800's packing industry, not the 2000's packing industry. The packing industry, science, and regulation in the USA has changed DRASTICALLY in the last 100 years. Its the reason the USA has the SAFEST FOOD SUPPLY IN THE WORLD. Hands down.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
  3. J-dub

    I'm sure glad government regulated the food supply. Does anyone really believe that this meat gets checked, let alone recalled for e-coli if there's no regulation?

    August 15, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cecilia

      not with all the cuts to employees and funding for the program – go tea party

      August 15, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  4. CynicLgrrl

    what the heck...

    August 15, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. CynicLgrrl

    Meat Inspector ... k i n k y

    August 15, 2011 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chitown Jason

      lol...well played.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
  6. CynicLgrrl

    take that censors. ..pffth

    August 15, 2011 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. jon

    It always appears that our FDA is failing us. Until about 300 people are ill, and a few die, we don't seem to hear about any recall. Where is the "up front" checking???? Is there any??? Or did George Bush eliminate about half of the FDA staff???

    August 15, 2011 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Errogant 2

      s a matter of fact the FDA did have funding cuts under the Bush administration that directly reduced the number of government inspectors. Most packing plants and food processors rely on privately hired, "independent" inspectors.

      August 15, 2011 at 17:51 | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      What's your point? In this particular case, no one even got sick; the positive tests were performed before anything was distributed for consumption. In other words, the system worked exactly as it is supposed to work.

      You seem to be saying that there should not be any E. coli, anywhere, at any time – a ridiculous demand.

      August 15, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • What?

      @Errogant 2 – That should be "Ignorant 2", because you sure don't know what you are talking about. #1 – For most of the posters here – The FDA doesn't have a thing to do with meat inspection; that falls under the USDA. #2 – You are absolutely dead wrong when you say "Most packing plants and food processors rely on privately hired, "independent" inspectors." Any meat product that is sold into interstate commerce MUST be federally inspected. That means USDA inspectors, not 3rd party 'hired guns'.

      It is literally impossible to 'find' every pathogenic bacterium in any food. Test methods are destructive, which means that the food is destroyed in the process of testing, so whatever you test is "history". Sampling procedures rely on 'statistical samples', which may or may not make practical sense, but that's the way it is. Finding 1000 bacteria in a 5000 lb (or larger) batch of product becomes almost impossible. It's like looking for the proverbial 'needle in a haystack'.

      It is good that this was found early. Remember – cook any GB to 165F before consuming. That will destroy any E. coli 0157:H7 that might be present.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Pravda

      @SixDegrees
      ... the positive tests were performed before anything was distributed for consumption ...

      So they don't need a recall, right?

      August 15, 2011 at 18:51 | Report abuse |
  8. uptonstgeorge

    Send it all to Pakistan

    August 15, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      Why? How about we send it to your house instead?

      August 15, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
    • meatman

      my meats always well done

      August 15, 2011 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
  9. Errogant 2

    Beter regulation of feeders, and requiring that cattle be finished on grass for at least 6 weeks prior to slaughter, would prevent E. Coli 0157:H7 from being able to reproduce in the intestinal tract of cattle. Stop the problem at the source.

    August 15, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kirstyloo

      Very interesting idea. I've not heard this before.

      August 15, 2011 at 17:51 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Really? So, grass will kill e. coli? WRONG! It's a fecal bacteria, it'll grow regardless of what you feed the cattle.
      In plain English, what goes into the front end turns into crap. Crap is what e. coli eats.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • Voliza

      Wzrd, this is completely true. Cows are not designed to digest corn, bakery waste and other byproducts. There is a balance of gut flora that is directly related to the diet, even in humans. Grass regulates the bacteria, and does not allow E. Coli to thrive like the industrial, CAFO, cows. The grass doesn't kill the bacteria, it just prevents it from growing in the first place.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrated_Animal_Feeding_Operations

      http://afitteryou.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/cafo.jpg?w=450&h=288

      This does not appear to be a healthy way to live.

      BUY LOCAL! I found a farm market down the road that sells grassfed ground beef for $3/lb. You can buy a 1/4 of a whole cow for $3.50/lb. That's any cut of beef! We need to take control of what we eat in our own hands, and quit letting the government do it for us.

      August 15, 2011 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
    • What?

      @ Voliza

      Just what are cows "designed" to eat???? Corn is a grass, just like fescue, bermuda, oats, timothy, wheat, rye, etc. It just happens to have a bigger seed than most, and is more widely known as a "grain" than a "grass". Are you implying that cows weren't designed to eat "grass"? A brilliant statement.

      Have you ever seen a cow eat its afterbirth (placenta) after calving? Oh, you didn't know they would do that, huh? Don't believe it? Ask somebody who KNOWS, instead of believing all the drivel you read from people with 'agendas'. (Not all of them do it, but a very large number of beef cattle, especially, do.)

      August 15, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
    • Our foods are POISONED!

      Monsanto is the largest agri-terrorists out there. They are in bed with the FDA as some former higher ups in Monsanto now work for the FDA which is an OBVIOUS conflict of interest. These poisonous events of e.coli appearing in our food are NO ACCIDENT. They are screwing with our food and killing is. BOYCOTT GMO or genetically modified foods!

      August 16, 2011 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
  10. David

    Tea Party wants to get rid of the Dept. Of Agriculture, I guess they didn't actually read what this department actually does. Oh wait, maybe we could buy E-Coli testing kits from Walmart and test the meat ourselves rather than letting the big Socialist Government do it for us. Ridiculous.

    August 15, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      I was unaware of any tea party members who knew HOW to read.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
  11. vegetarian

    E coli resides in animals' intestinal tracts and ends up in meat when their guts are ripped open during slaughter and their feces spill out onto their flesh, contaminating it. If you eat meat, you are eating this fecal matter.

    August 15, 2011 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      First, not quite accurate. Upon death, animals void. That tends to get spread around. IF the intestine is cut, THEN fecal matter can spread on the carcass.
      That said, it doesn't get INSIDE the meat, it is ON the meat.
      The largest amount of cases have been traced back to meat dropped onto a fecal contaminated floor, then picked up and tossed into a bin and turned into ground meat.
      In short, my steaks are safe. So are my roasts.
      Can't guarantee that my scallions are safe, as those have been contaminated by e. coli many times. Or pretty much any other vegetable.
      STOP EATING, WE WILL GET SICK AND DIE!
      Moron.

      August 15, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • willie

      @Wzrd1
      If the meat weren't dropped it wouldn't be "ground" beef then would it!

      August 15, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
    • Conspirator

      There are tons of studies that show fecal matter is present on nearly everything we touch in public places and in our own homes. It's on your coffee table, shopping carts, shoes, door knobs, and especially money, so unless you live in a Lysol bubble YOU ARE GOING TO TOUCH THE POOP! (And if you do live in a Lysol bubble you probably won't live long anyway due to your severely compromised immune system. You NEED regular exposure to germs to keep it built up and active!)

      Also Wzrd1 is correct about E. coli on the veggies. Vegetables get a lot more direct contact with those animal feces than meat, since they use those feces to fertilize your precious fruits and vegetables! Happy eating!

      August 15, 2011 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
  12. us1776

    Just send it all over to the Tea Party. They won't mind. They don't like things like the FDA and safety inspections and such.

    .

    August 15, 2011 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Call it ATTACK OF THE CHUB CHUBS! ;)

      August 15, 2011 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
  13. JeffinIL

    If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

    August 15, 2011 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • willie

      The lunatic is in my head too...

      August 15, 2011 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    SHOP AT WEGMANS!!

    August 15, 2011 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. willie

    I don't think putting a thermometer into a hamburger patty would be very effective. They are too thin to get an accurate reading. If meat processors would stop putting red food dye in hamburger to make the old look fresh we could judge the cooking by the color...

    August 15, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • What?

      You really need a new source for your info, Willie. Either somebody's been feeding you some very bad intel, or you've been smoking too much of the wrong thing. "It is a violation of federal law" to put red food coloring in meat.

      August 15, 2011 at 21:19 | Report abuse |
    • TMAC

      @what: Have you ever seen truly fresh beef (ground, roast,steaks,etc), straight from the butcher house? It does not look the same. Same with pork. I was raised in a family where we bought the cow or pig from a relative or a sales barn and took it to a local butcher. The meat that is sold in stores may not have 'red food coloring' but they do have additives that make them appear pinker than normal. Took me awhile to understand that when I started buying meat from a store, b/c it all looked to pink to me. I Had a hard time picking out a good package b/c of that.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse |
    • What?

      @TMAC – I grew up in a family where we raised the beef to be slaughtered for our own use. I have personally slaughtered and butchered more meat that you will probably eat the rest of your life. And – contrary to what appears to be popular belief – no, "they" are not putting additives in the meat to make it appear "pinker than normal" (if they are obeying the law). There are federal laws in place – partly as a result of "The Jungle", as a previous blogger mentioned – that strictly prohibit the addition of things to food to falsely color it and "mislead the consumer". If the meat has been packaged in a high-oxygen atmosphere, it may appear slightly 'redder' or 'pinker' than "normal", because of the excess of oxygen that is present. (It takes exposure to oxygen for meat to even turn red in the first place – it's normal color is purple.)

      August 16, 2011 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
  16. Tim

    What do they do with all the recalled meat?

    August 15, 2011 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JeffinIL

      I don't recall...

      August 15, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
  17. weeder

    Just cook your ground meat throughly to kill any bacteria and quit complaining.

    August 15, 2011 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • will

      Or undercook it to eliminate any unwanted "guests".

      August 15, 2011 at 18:47 | Report abuse |
  18. homeslice

    uh...huh, huh...you said chub!!!

    August 15, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. donwan

    good thing mcdonalds isn't real meat send it 2 gaddafi

    August 16, 2011 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Daniel

    I am going to say this as short as I can (it is kind of complex on why we should not have more government in food). The reason for e coli in the first place was through big government. With the corn subsidies it is cheaper and legal to feed a cow corn instead of their natural diet of grass. In fact majority of our food is corn based because of this. The cows are no longer allowed to roam they stand in their own poop rub up against each other, and hardly have room to stand. The reason e coli is getting worse is because the way our HUGE government mandated how our farmers must farm, period. Over 75% of our beef comes from 13 slaughter houses nationwide, thanks to the government who shut down the ones who in my opinion cared about ethical food (there used to be over 500 slaughter houses). I am not saying to put the animal on the pedestal, however to put the cows in a square mile with thousands of other cows and never let them walk outside of that poop hole is unsanitary. FOOD INC. IS A MUST SEE. We need to vote with our wallets, and not with our tax dollars. Track your food supply farmers market is the best place to start. The government made these CAFO's (Concentrated Animal Food Operation) since when is it an operation to feed cows. They raise themselves, put them on a hillside and let them graze till its their time, people we need to investigate these issues do not just listen to the talking heads on TV.

    August 16, 2011 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. larry

    The ugly secret here is that corn feeding cattle leads to E. coli bacteria in the cow's digestive system. Cows are not designed to eat corn and gain weight quickly when fed corn products. It won't change because going back to grass feeding would cut profits.

    August 16, 2011 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. DNADEB

    The federal government's way of dealing with food protection is wait until something happens and then recall. Aren't we advanced!

    August 16, 2011 at 08:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. CSI

    I must say the article above is very poor in describing what actually E.coli 0157:H7 can do to your body; it is not only the milled symptoms described but literally can kill you. This bacteria has probably the fastest multiplication rate, from one bacteria in your system in 8 h you will have approx. 7 million and all the waste produce by this tinny population – the toxin – will kill your kidneys and than your nervous system.

    I am a Consumer Safety Inspector – CSI for USDA and you people should stop blaming the "Big Government". We fight every day with the Industry, we are hated and put to the wall many times but in most cases the Industry is much more powerful than you think and we lose our battle.

    To test each meat produced, as somebody said IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. Even, lets say it is possible, still E.coli cannot be eradicated or eliminated, because it grows in "pockets" meaning that you can pick up a sample from a lot and the sample can test negative for E.coli. This does not mean that all the meat in that lot is negative. E.coli can be there in another side where the sample did not reach.

    Start cooking for yourself more and avoid as much as you can eating junk food, especially hamburgers. Probably 70 % of the meat in the hamburgers is from overseas anyway so in not only American farmers or the government dictating the farmers how to feed their cows, guilty for the E.coli problem in this country.
    You should start to educate yourself more and to do your best and eating right and clean!!!! Do not be lazy and run to the closed hamburger stand and engorge as many patties as your body cannot hold and than blame everybody else when you get sick!!!

    August 16, 2011 at 09:49 | Report abuse | Reply
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