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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

UPDATED – People in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington got “E. coli” in their Stockings for Christmas – Why does the FSIS, CDC and National Steak and Poultry not tell us which Restaurants received the Needle Tenderized Products?

How many of you had a steak in a restaurant since September of this year? Did anyone who ate that steak know that the steak came from National Steak and Poultry? Did anyone see that on the box the steak came in that it was labeled ““EST. 6010T?” Did anyone realize that the steak might have been a “non-intact steak … (blade tenderized prior to further processing)?” My guess is that you could not answer any of those questions unless you worked in the kitchen that served the steak, and maybe not even then. And, no one is talking – yet. Well, perhaps just in whispers.

A couple of other questions: Does anyone know where to “restaurants nationwide” the steaks were shipped and served? In what restaurants people became ill and people did not? Well, those who know, FSIS, CDC, State and Local Health Departments and National Steak and Poultry, are not telling – yet. Sure, there are rumors as to what restaurants received the product, but as of yet, none have stepped forward – yet.  According to National Steak and Poultry’s website:

As beef and poultry marination innovators since 1980, NSP has proved the popularity and profitability of our marinated, pre-portioned beef and poultry – both fully cooked and fresh frozen – at some of America’s best known chains.

So, they clearly are not a slaughter facility.  Here are some broader issues:

What we know: The FSIS in yet another late night, Friday night or night before Christmas announcement, releases a press release (likely in part drafted by National Steak and Poultry) that there is “a recall of approximately 248,000 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.” This is a CLASS I RECALL – which means – “This type of recall involves a health hazard where a reasonable probability exists that eating the food would cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

What we know: Restaurants in “Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington” received these “blade tenderized” steaks because the FSIS tells us the CDC told them that people became ill after eating steaks contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

What we know: "Blade tenderized" steaks with E. coli O157:H7 are considered adulterated – just like E. coli O157:H7 hamburger.

What we know: Each package of steaks bear a label with the establishment number “EST. 6010T” inside the USDA mark of inspection and packaging dates of “10/12/2009,” “10/13/2009,” “10/14/2009,” or “10/21/2009.” These products were shipped to restaurants nationwide.

So, why the secrecy during a CLASS I, adulterated product recall? Of course that assumes that National Steak and Poultry and the FSIS know where the mystery meat went. But my educated guess is that they know, and have known for at least a week or more. So, why not tell the public – especially those who became ill – which restaurants received the tainted meat? So, why not tell all restaurants that received the product to make sure those steaks are pulled? How about a bit of transparency? How about the restaurants that served the product that sickened the people stepping up? You know who you are too.

UPDATE:  Although, right now, we do not know if any of the below restaurants are implicated, but since no one is talking – yet:

From 2004, Tulsa Daily World story:

The company processes and packages its specially marinated meat products for national, regional and local restaurant chains and retail outlets, including the grocery store sector.  Some well-known customers are Applebee’s International Inc., Tulsa-based Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe, Don Pablo’s Mexican Kitchen, Taco Bueno Restaurants, Ihop Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.  NSP’s steady growth during the past few years came partially from diversification into new industries, [David] Albright said, particularly retail grocery stores such as Wal-Mart and contracts with branches of the military.  Selling steaks for soldiers stationed oversees, which began last year, netted NSP $3 million in sales in 2003.

I guess we all get “E. coal ii” in our stockings.  Well, except:

In 2004 National Steak and Poultry received a $100,000 grant to continue improvements at its plant, according to a news release Monday from the state of Oklahoma Commerce Department’s Office of Community Development. The grant, combined with funds from the city of Owasso and a $30,000 contribution by the company, will be used to improve parking and drainage. In addition, National Steak and Poultry received over $500,000 from the Small Business Administration.

Here is the best we know at this point, and it is not much.  According to the FSIS, here is a complete list of he products subject to recall – so far:

• 4-ounce “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “SC68408.”
• 6-ounce “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “SP680608.”
• 8-ounce “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “SC68808”
• 9-ounce “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “SC68908.”
• “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BONELESS BEEF TIPS,” with an identifying case code of “69108.”
• “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK” with an identifying case code of “XXSP68008.”
• “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY SAVORY SIRLOIN TIPS” with an identifying case code of “XX69008.”
• 5-ounce “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BACON WRAPPED BEEF FILLET,” with an identifying case code of “23508.”
• “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY USDA SELECT BEEF SHOULDER MARINATED TENDER MEDALLIONS” with an identifying case code of “23289.”
• “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY 75% BONELESS BEEF TRIMMINGS,” with an identifying case code of “33575.”
• “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BEEF TRIMMINGS,” with an identifying case code of “36545.”
• “NATIONAL STEAK AND POULTRY BEEF SIRLOIN PHILLY STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “88008.”
• 4-ounce “EGN BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “680425.”
• 7-ounce “EGN BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN TRI TIP STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “69725.”
• 9-ounce “EGN BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN TRI TIP STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “680925.”
• 7-ounce “KRM BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “680715.”
• 9-ounce “KRM BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “680915.”
• 12-ounce “KRM BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “680215.”
• 8-ounce “CARINO’S BONELESS BEEF OUTSIDE SKIRT STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “130874.”
• “CARINO’S BONELESS BEEF OUTSIDE SKIRT STEAK PIECES,” with an identifying case code of “13074.”
• “MOE’S BEEF STEAK,” with an identifying case code of “78027.”