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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

American Food Service Recalls 3,170 Pounds of E. coli-Tainted Ground Beef

According to a FSIS release, American Food Service, a Pico Rivera, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 3,170 pounds of fresh ground beef patties and other bulk packages of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 announce late Friday night. FSIS inspection personnel were made aware of the problem when contacted by another federal regulated establishment who believed they had received suspect product. The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 1913” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were distributed to restaurants throughout southern California.

art.hamburgers.gi.jpgThe following products are subject to recall:

• (559002) American Companies 100% Pure Ground Beef 30-lb. case

• (552102) American Companies 2/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case

• (553102) American Companies 3/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case

• (554102) American Companies 4/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case

• (554106) American Companies 4/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case

• (554302) American Companies 4/1 L Ground Beef Patties 80/20 20-lb. case

• (555302) American Companies 5/1 L Ground Beef Patties 80/20 20-lb. case

• (556102) American Companies 6/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case

• (553302) American Companies 3/1 L Ground Beef Patties 80/20 20-lb. case

• (554402) American Companies 4/1 J Ground Beef Patties 80/20 20-lb. case

• (557102) American Companies 7/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case

• (556106) American Companies 6/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case

• (552106) American Companies 2/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case

• (559004) American Companies Ground Beef Bulk 80% Lean Taco Grind 60-lb. case

• (559202) American Companies 100% Pure Ground Beef For Chili (Coarse Grind) 30-lb. case.

  • John Munsell

    USDA’s website shows that American Food Service is merely a processor, and does not slaughter. Therefore, the E.coli-contaminated burger it produced was originallycontaminated at one of its source slaughter providers. When this previously contaminated meat arrived at American Food Service, the pathogens were not detected, because these bugs are invisible.
    Will USDA successfully determine the true ORIGIN of the pathogens, or instead assess all liability against the victimized downstream further processing plant, which is American Food Service? USDA and FDA jointly hosted a “Traceback Hearing” in DC in Dec 2009. Subsequently, USDA/FSIS hosted its own “Traceback Hearing” in DC in March 2010 to discuss how it might implement policy changes to successfully traceback to the slaughterhouse ORIGIN of e.coli-contaminated meat. Only time will tell if the agency is able (or WILLING) to traceback to the slaughter house of origin of this 3,170# of adulterated meat.
    The agency’s historical unwillingness to traceback to the true SOURCE of contamination is a scandalous sham, and will be fully revealed some day. Likewise, the agency’s unwillingness to force the SOURCE to clean up its act borders on criminal.
    John Munsell

  • Doc Mudd

    Traceability is essential to managing a safe food system, no question about that.
    When is R-CALF going to get with the program and institute beef traceback to the ultimate source, the cow-calf operator? Maybe the good ol’ boys over at R-CALF could break the industry logjam by being first to amend its own “historical unwillingness to traceback to the true SOURCE”?

  • John Munsell

    NO livestock group is suggesting a traceback to the live animal, nor should they! Although the results vary from study-to-study, up to 35% or so of live animals carry E.coli 0157:H7 in their intestines. What can the rancher do about it? Precious little, until vaccines can prove their efficacy. To its credit, Cargill performed a sizeable test last year of the reduction of E.coli in animals which have been vaccinated, with nice results, and will perform additional studies this year. So, at the moment, we have to live with the fact that beef arriving at the slaughter plants are carrying an unfortunate load of pathogens, with no fault of the rancher or feedlot. Therefore, when we see E.coli or salmonella on beef products, realizing that the bugs emanate from within animals’ intestines, we have to conclude that the contamination occurred on the kill floor, where corrective actions must be focused at this time, until vaccines are proven or other pre-harvest interventions are invented, which do not exist at this time.
    R-Calf and several other livestock groups have endorsed tracebacks to the SLAUGHTERHOUSE of origin, showing their committment to forcing the source to clean up its act, thus benefitting public health. So, if you fault R-Calf, you’re faulting ALL livestock groups, for no good reason.
    John Munsell

  • Doc Mudd

    So, no personal accountability by R-CALF producers, then. No concern for consumer safety.
    Merely shift the blame and the problem onto the government and nameless “big ag” players, then.
    What can the concerned rancher do about it?
    Step up and become professional. Be informed. Be accountable. Have a care for consumer safety and understand it begins at the farm (or ‘ranch’ if you must be so flattered) and accept that at critical times traceback by country of origin, through all the mid-stream processors, back to the individual operation (to the SOURCE, as you emphasize) would have practical value. Maybe become part of the proactive solution instead of fostering and preserving the reactive problem, always shifting the blame, obfuscating and rendering epidemiological investigations difficult and unpredictable?
    “…if you fault R-Calf, you’re faulting ALL livestock groups…”
    Don’t flatter yourselves, John. R-CALF may have key western legislators in its hip pocket, but you drugstore cowboys don’t represent all of livestock production, and certainly not any of professional agriculture or any of the legitimate food safety professions.
    When we fault R-CALF for obstructionism, we’re squarely in the right ballpark, Hoss. You’ve been willingly co-opted:
    http://beefmagazine.com/cowcalfweekly/0903-r-calfs-unholy-alliances/
    You might hornswaggle yuppie grocery shoppers and you might play grabass with activist zealots, but R-CALF’s double dealing has caught up with you – you’ve lost your credibility. R-CALF has never spoken on behalf of professional livestock production. Now it proudly carries water for whackadoodles at Food & Water Watch, at Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance, and other anti-agriculture pro-starvation cults.
    R-CALF is all hat and no head.

  • John Munsell

    Yup Doc, you are without question THE ULTIMATE spokesperson for domestic ag producers. John Munsell

  • Doc Mudd

    Actually, John, I’d have professional ag producers speak for themselves.
    Without being disingenuously shouted down by your professionally organized propagandist partners at Food & Water Watch, Western Organization of Resource Councils, National Family Farm Coalition, etc.
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/09/is-the-r-calf-gang-eating-grilled-avocado/
    http://activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/o/273-western-organization-of-resource-councils
    You good ol’ boys over at R-CALF must be planning on a real good harvest of avocados and organic arugula from your old grazing land, huh, since you’ve taken the activist bait hook, line and sinker?

  • Contaminated foods have been the real mess behind the poor status of a American people’ health and diet. It goes along with negligence and consumerism. Real education for manufacturers and consumers are what this scenario is calling for.