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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

New York and Oregon Firms Recall Ground Beef Products Sent to Oregon, Washington and New York Due to E. coli O157:H7

It is not 5:00 AM and I am on my way to the airport in Seattle (again) heading to New York for a speech to Excess Insurance Executives. FSIS just released another recall of meat. It appears this time it is BEFORE people were sickened. So much for test and hold. Here are the details:

SP Provisions, a Portland, Ore., establishment is recalling approximately 39,973 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.  The products subject to recall include:

Cascade Natural Beef Brand:

* 5-pound and 10-pound bags of ground beef. Each package bears the identifying case code "13-016G."
* 5-pound and 10-pound bags of chili grind. Each package bears the identifying case code "13-016C."
* 15-pound boxes of ground beef patties. Each package bears the identifying case code "13-016GP."

SP Provisions Brand:

* 5-pound and 10-pound bags of ground beef. Each package bears the identifying case code "01-136."
* 5-pound and 10-pound bags of chili grind. Each package bears the identifying case code "01-136C."
* 15-pound boxes of ground beef patties. Each package bears the identifying case code "01-136P."

Each identifying case code is preceded by the date code "040809" through "052809," signifying the production date in "month/date/year" format, i.e. April 8, 2009 through May 28, 2009. Additionally, each product bears the establishment number "EST. 2866" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Alex & George Wholesale, Inc., a Rochester, New York firm, is recalling approximately 4,663 pounds of ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.  The following products are subject to recall:

* 10-pound poly bag of "A & G Brand BULK GROUND BEEF"
* 10-pound poly bag of "A & G Brand ‘HOT SAUCE’ SPECIAL BLEND"
* 25-pound poly bag of "A & G Brand BULK GROUND BEEF"
* 30-pound poly bag of "A & G Brand BULK GROUND BEEF"
* 10-pound case of (3-1) "A & G Brand GROUND BEEF PATTIES"
* 10-pound case of (5-1) "A & G Brand GROUND BEEF PATTIES"
* 10-pound case of "A & G Brand ‘Homestyle Press’ GROUND BEEF PATTIES"
* 10-pound case of (6-1) "A & G Brand GROUND BEEF PATTIES"
* Cases containing 48, 4.25-ounce"A & G Brand GROUND BEEF PATTIES ‘PUCKS’"
* Cases containing 48, 5-ounce "A & G Brand ‘Homestyle Press’ GROUND BEEF PATTIES"
* Cases containing 48, 5-ounce (4-1) "A & G Brand ‘Homestyle Press’ GROUND BEEF PATTIES"
* Cases containing 48, 5-ounce "A & G Brand GROUND BEEF PATTIES ‘PUCKS.’"

These packages of ground beef were packed in 10, 15, 25, and 30-pound shipping cases which bear the establishment number "EST. 4553" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The (3-1), (4-1), (5-1) and (6-1) refers to the number of portions per one pound.

  • For info, the New York firm’s recall was announced on May 4, 2009 (FSIS Recall #019-2009)

  • John Munsell

    It is no shock that both firms implicated in these recalls are strictly further processing plants, and do NOT slaughter. Therefore, since E.coli are “Enteric” bacteria, meaning they originate within animals’ intestines, we must recognize that neither of these two plants have intestines or manure-covered hides on their premises. It is correct to conclude that both plants unwittingly purchased previously-contaminated meat from their suppliers, ground it, and innocently shipped E.coli-laced ground beef into commerce. Since plants can’t test 100% of its ground beef for E.coli, we must admit that the highly-revered “Test and Hold” protocol will only detect pathogens within the tested lot of meat (maybe), while not catching pathogens in untested lots. Events in the next few days may prove me wrong, but USDA actions in recent years almost guarantee that the agency will NOT be able to traceback to the slaughterhouse origin of the E.coli bacteria found in the meat samples produced by SP Provisions and Alex & George Wholesale. So what? Who cares? This nation is obsessed with hanging out to dry victimized downstream further processing plants against whom all responsibility is placed for their unwitting purchase and further processing of meat already contaminated with invisible pathogens. And, USDA could care less, and is careless in its insulating the huge originating slaughter plants from accountability, while continuously crucifying the small downstream further processing plants which lack the financial wherewithal and political clout to challenge USDA’s unethical enforcement actions. Until our Senators and Representatives in Washington DC develop the courage to mandate common sense policies at USDA/FSIS, recalls will continue, consumers continue to be unnecessarily imperiled, and public health will suffer. We need to Force the Source, rather than Destroy the Destination. And, USDA’s recall press release on SP Provisions incorrectly listed the firm’s Establishment # as 2866. It is actually Est # 2886. John Munsell