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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

International Meat Co., Inc., Recalls Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination

Recall Release CLASS I RECALL
FSIS-RC-033-2009 HEALTH RISK: HIGH

International Meat Co., Inc., a Chicago, Ill., establishment is recalling approximately 6,152 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 products subject to recall include:

* "5-pound, plastic lined boxes of "International Meat Co., PURVEYOR OF FINE MEATS TO HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS, BEEF PATTIES." Each box bears the establishment number "EST. 22080" inside the USDA mark of inspection and identifying package codes of "061709," "061809" or "061909."

* "5- and 10-pound bags of bulk "International Meat Co., BEEF PATTIE MIX." Each bag bears the establishment number "EST. 22080" inside the USDA mark of inspection and identifying package codes of "061709," "061809" or "061909."

* "10-pound bags of "International Meat Co., GROUND BEEF." Each box bears the establishment number "EST. 22080" inside the USDA mark of inspection and identifying package codes of "061709," "061809" or "061909."

* "10-pound bags of "Packed For, Purely Gourmet & Organic, Ground Beef." Each box bears the establishment number "EST. 22080" inside the USDA mark of inspection and identifying package codes of "061709," "061809" or "061909."

These ground beef products were produced on June 17, 2009, through June 19, 2009, and were shipped to distributors and restaurants in the Chicago, Ill., metropolitan area.

  • John Munsell

    International Meat Company shares something in common with other meat companies which have been victimized in E.coli recalls this century. VICTIMIZED? Huh? Yes indeed. International Meat Company does not slaughter, but merely further processes meat exclusively purchased from supplier meat plants which slaughter. As such, International Meat Company exists at the total mercy of the sanitary conditions found at their source slaughter providers, over which these small destination plants exert no control. E.coli are invisible microbes, so they cannot be detected on meat which is further processed at these downline further processing plants. My guess is that USDA/FSIS successfully conducts tracebacks to the true ORIGIN of contamination less than 20% of the time, which does not bother the agency one iota. Why not? Think about it: successful tracebacks to the slaughter behemoths of the industry would reveal two ugly facts: (1) USDA is intentionally asleep at the wheel at the large slaughter plants, and enjoys their new-found semi-retirement, “Hands Off” status of non-involvement. (2) The highly heralded HACCP system, ostensibly a “science based” system is anything but scientific, and imperils public health. How many dozen more recalls and consumer sicknesses must we endure while waiting for USDA to proactively embrace the need for “Hands On” inspection? Political science and science fiction are at the rudder of our contemporary meat inspection system, in which deregulation virtually guarantees ongoing problems. John Munsell