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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

A week after FSIS announces a Class I Recall of Salmonella Newport beef from Beef Packers (Cargill) and still no list of where the beef went?

On August 6, 2009 Beef Packers, Inc., of Fresno, California recalled approximately 825,769 pounds of ground beef products linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis (disease that can be caused by antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Newport). This was announced on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) website.

Today is August 13 – seven (7) days into a Class 1 Recall. The FSIS is supposed to make available to the public the names and locations of retail consignees (grocery stores, etc.) of meat products recalled by a federally-inspected meat establishment (like this one) if the recalled product has been distributed to the retail level. The rule applies to Class I recalls (like this one). The information is supposed to be posted on the FSIS website, generally within three (3) to ten (10) working days, following the announcement of the recall.

So, FSIS, Day seven (7) of ten (10), what gives? California has already produced what is thought to be a complete list of retail consignees. Why cannot the FSIS? More to the point, why cannot Beef Packers, Inc., (a.k.a. Cargill)?

So far at least 28 people in California, Colorado and Wyoming have reported salmonella-related illnesses since last week. You have to wonder why the "foot-dragging?" Wouldn’t it be better to tell the public where contaminated beef might have been sold? Wouldn’t it make it much easier for people to check there freezers if they knew they may have purchased contamianted meat?