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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

E. coli O157:H7 Illnesses in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois Linked to Hamburger Produced by Valley Meats

FSIS announces the first CLASS I RECALL after E. coli O157:H7 illnesses linked in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois of the season – more to follow?

ILLINOIS FIRM RECALLS GROUND BEEF PRODUCTS DUE E. COLI O157:H7 CONTAMINATION

Valley Meats LLC, a Coal Valley, Ill., establishment is recalling approximately 95,898 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.  The problem was discovered through an epidemiological investigation of illnesses. On May 13, 2009, FSIS was informed by the Ohio Department of Health of a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 infections. Illnesses have been reported in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

For more information about E. coli O157:H7, see, www.about-ecoli.com and for complications like Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, see, www.about-hus.com.

The products subject to recall include:

3S Brand Products:

• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN 3/S 100% GROUND BEEF PATTY.” Each package bears the identifying case code “95554.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 60 (6-1) “KEEP FROZEN 3/S 100% GROUND BEEF PATTY.” Each package bears the identifying case code “95556.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN 3/S CHOPPED BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK BURGER.” Each package bears the identifying case code “95573.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN 3/S CHOPPED BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK BURGER.” Each package bears the identifying case code “95574.

Grillmaster Brand Products:

• 10-pound cases containing a total of 100 (10-1) “KEEP FROZEN GRILL MASTER 100% GROUND BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95588.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 20 (2-1) “KEEP FROZEN GRILL MASTER 100% GROUND BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95500.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN GRILL MASTER 100% GROUND BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95502.”

• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN GRILL MASTER 100% GROUND BEEF PATTY.” The cases can be identified by the case codes “95504” and “95505.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 50 (5-1) “KEEP FROZEN GRILL MASTER 100% GROUND BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95508.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 60 (6-1) “KEEP FROZEN GRILL MASTER 100% GROUND BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95509.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN GRILL MASTER BEEF PATTIE.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95512.”

J & B Brand Products:

• 10.5 pound cases containing a total of 28, 6-ounce “KEEP FROZEN BEEF HOAGIE PATTIE.” Each package bears the identifying case code “51706.”
• 10.5 pound cases containing a total of 14, 12-ounce “KEEP FROZEN BEEF DINNER PATTIE.” Each package bears the identifying case code “51312.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN TENDERKNIT BEEF STEAK CHOPPED AND FORMED.” Each package bears the identifying case code “11028.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “TENDERKNIT BEEF STEAK CHOPPED AND FORMED.” Each package bears the identifying case code “11024.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 10 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN TENDERKNIT VEAL LUNCHEON CHOPPED AND FORMED.” Each package bears the identifying case code “13014.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN SEASONED GROUND BEEF PATTIE.” Each package bears the identifying case code “11384BR.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 packages (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN BEEF STEAK BURGER.” Each package bears the identifying case code “J1004.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN FLAVOR BURST BEEF PATTIE.” Each package bears the identifying case code “51803.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN FLAVOR BURST BEEF PATTIE.” Each package bears the identifying case code “51804.”

Klub Brand Products:

• 10-pound cases containing a total of 20 (2-1) “KEEP FROZEN KLUB GROUND BEEF STEAK.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95565.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN KLUB GROUND BEEF STEAK.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95567.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN KLUB GROUND BEEF STEAK.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95568.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 20 (2-1) “KEEP FROZEN KLUB HOMESTYLE GROUND BEEF STEAK.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95583.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN KLUB HOMESTYLE GROUND BEEF STEAK.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95584.”

Thick ‘N Savory Brand Products:

• 10-pound cases containing a total of 20 (2-1) “KEEP FROZEN THICK ‘N SAVORY SEASONED BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95579.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN THICK ‘N SAVORY SEASONED BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95580.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN THICK ‘N SAVORY SEASONED BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “95581.”

Ultimate Brand Products:

• 10-pound cases containing a total of 20 (2-1) “KEEP FROZEN ULTIMATE BURGER CHOPPED BEEF STEAK.” Each case can be identified by the case code “1012CL.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN ULTIMATE BURGER CHOPPED BEEF STEAK.” Each case can be identified by the case code “1013CL.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN ULTIMATE BURGER CHOPPED BEEF STEAK.” Each case can be identified by the case code “1014CL.”

Products with No Specified Name Brand:

• 10-pound cases containing a total of 20 (2-1) “KEEP FROZEN ULTIMATE BURGER CHOPPED BEEF STEAK.” Each case bears the case code “50123.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN ULTIMATE BURGER CHOPPED BEEF STEAK.” Each case bears the case code “50125.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN ULTIMATE BURGER CHOPPED BEEF STEAK.” Each case bears the case code “50127.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 30 (3-1) “KEEP FROZEN PURE BEEF PATTIE HEARTY HOMESTYLE.” Each case bears the case code “3253.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 40 (4-1) “KEEP FROZEN PURE BEEF PATTIE HEARTY HOMESTYLE.” Each case bears the case code “3254.”
• 10-pound cases containing a total of 50 (5-1) “KEEP FROZEN PURE BEEF PATTIE HEARTY HOMESTYLE.” Each case bears the case code “3255.”
• 24.75-pound cases containing a total of 144 “KEEP RERIGERATED GROUND BEEF PATTY.” Each case can be identified by the case code “8218.”
• 20-pound cases containing a total of 4 (4 X 5) “KEEP REFRIGERATED GROUND BEEF.” Each package bears the identifying case code “8020EC.”
• 40-pound cases containing a total of 8 (8 X 5) “KEEP REFRIGERATED GROUND BEEF.” Each package bears the identifying case code “8020VP.”
• 20-pound cases containing a total of 4 (4 X 5) “KEEP REFRIGERATED GROUND BEEF.” Each package bears the identifying case code “8515.”
• 20-pound cases containing a total of 4 (4 X 5) “KEEP FROZEN GROUND BEEF.” Each package bears the identifying case code “8020ECF.”
• 20-pound cases containing a total of 4 (4 X 5) “KEEP FROZEN GROUND BEEF.” Each package bears the identifying case code “10201.”
• 20-pound cases containing a total of 4 (4 X 5) “KEEP FROZEN GROUND MEAT.” Each package bears the identifying case code “10301.”

Additionally, each product bears the establishment number “EST. 5712” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The (2-1), (3-1), (4-1), (5-1) and (6-1) markings refer to the number of portions per one-pound.

  • John Munsell

    The USDA Press Release said that the recall is the result of an epidemiological investigation. Does anyone know if the epidemiological investigation was performed by the State Health Departments, or by USDA/FSIS? It would be interesting to know if the state health authorities did all the painstaking undercover work, and then handed all the evidence to the USDA. Or, did USDA conduct all the hard work? Typically, USDA embraces a “Hands Off” non-involvement in such cases, unless other authorities accumulate smoking gun evidence to the agency, which is then forced to do something, although it desires not to. John Munsell

  • richard raymond

    John, you may or may not know this, but an investigation starts out with a positive stool culture which in most states must by law be reported to the state health dept. The investigation may be done by the state or be the local health dept depending on resources. Evidence gained is then shared with the appropriate federal agencies, in this case USDA. Some states notify USDA before they have identified the source, others wait until the investigation is completed. I tried to get that changed and convened a conference that focused on how to improve cooperation and communications in outbreak investigations to reduce the inconsistency.
    USDA does not do the human Epi “hard work”, and in general federal agencies do not invade state or local turf unless asked. That applies to FDA and CDC also. Having been a leader in both the state and federal arenas, I have to say this system generally works quite well and is embraced by both sides.
    And I disagree with your last sentence. FSIS has a recall committee on call 24 hours a day, and they convene whenever a “smoking gun” is suggested. A recall is never a pleasant undertaking, but in my 3 1/2 years with USDA, I never once saw FSIS feel they were “forced” to do something. If a recall was indicated, they moved forward as quickly as humanly possible

  • Denis Stearns

    Although I have taken some swipes at the USDA from time to time over the years, I have to agree with Mr. Raymond here. It has never been the USDA’s role to do epidemiology–indeed, that would be a questionable duplication of efforts if it even thought to do so. Now, how the USDA has acted on information handed to it by a state health department might be open to question, even criticism, sometimes (e.g., the first Nebraska Beef outbreak, and the second Topps outbreak), but I don’t think it right to criticize the agency for not itself investigating outbreaks. That is just not the agency’s job.