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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Nebraska Beef Recalls More E. coli Contaminated Beef Product

I am sure glad FSIS made this clear:

Clarification: This recall affects only certain products produced at the Nebraska Beef Ltd. company, located in Omaha. It does not relate, implicate, or otherwise affect beef in the State of Nebraska. Please note this important distinction.

Here is the real problem:

Recall Release CLASS I RECALL
FSIS-RC-029-2008 HEALTH RISK: HIGH

Nebraska Beef, Ltd., an Omaha, Neb., establishment, is clarifying information from and expanding its recall announced on Aug. 8 of primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef to include such products bearing the company name "Nebraska Beef Ltd" that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The total amount of product subject to recall is approximately 1.36 million pounds. The expansion of approximately 160,000 pounds and the clarifying information include:

* Primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef produced on June 24, whose shipping containers and labels bear the establishment number "EST. 19336" inside the USDA mark of inspection and the company name "Nebraska Beef Ltd" The products may or may not bear a green sticker.
* Primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef produced on July 8, whose shipping containers and labels bear the establishment number "EST. 19336" inside the USDA mark of inspection, the company name "Nebraska Beef Ltd." as well as a 2-inch plain, circular green sticker on one side of the shipping box.

Poundage of products bearing the green sticker were included in the 1.2 million pounds originally recalled, but were not identified in the product description with the company name "Nebraska Beef Ltd." in the Aug. 8 announcement.

FSIS has concluded that the production practices employed by Nebraska Beef, Ltd., on June 24 were insufficient to effectively control E. coli O157:H7. The products subject to the expansion may have been produced under insanitary conditions. The expansion was not prompted by foodborne illness investigations.

These products were sent to establishments and retail stores nationwide for further processing and will likely not bear the establishment number "EST. 19336" on products available for direct consumer purchase.

The problem prompting the recall announced on Aug. 8 was discovered through a joint investigation with state departments of health and agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FSIS. As of Aug. 11, there were 26 culture-confirmed cases in 10 states and 1 culture-confirmed case in Canada identified as part of this outbreak. This count is based on continuing testing, analysis and investigation.