I read with some level of concern that “FSIS Issues Public Health Alert For Beef Products Due To Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination” which wound up in my inbox this morning:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert [not a recall] for approximately 808 pounds of ground beef products produced at Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., a Lexington, Neb., establishment that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Here is the interesting part:

Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., (EST. 245L), sold chubs of 85% lean, 15% fat coarse ground beef to Sherm’s Food-4-Less retail establishment in Medford, Oregon, who then processed this ground beef into various sized packages of ground beef products and sold to consumers between May 7 and May 19.

FSIS is issuing a public health alert rather than a recall because FSIS has confirmed that none of the affected products remain available for sale at this retail establishment. Consumers that may have purchased various sized packages of ground beef products at this retail establishment between May 7 and May 19 are urged to check their refrigerators and freezers and discard or return the ground beef products for a refund.

An alert, but not a recall, and only focusing on product from Tysons sent to Sherm’s Food-4-Less? What about other grinders or other retail establishments that received the same product from Tysons? The alert in fact says:

The problem was discovered after a microbiological test for E. coli O157:H7 was reported positive by another recipient of the product subject to this alert.

Why no alert or recall for that recipient? How many recipients are there? Where is the transparency?