USDA – FSIS Recall Release


WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2008 – Nebraska Beef, Ltd., an Omaha, Neb., establishment is recalling approximately 1.2 million pounds of primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

These beef products were produced on June 17, June 24 and July 8, 2008. The shipping containers and product labels bear the establishment number “EST. 19336” inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as the brand “Coleman Natural.” However, 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 was discovered through a joint investigation with state departments of health and agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FSIS. To date, 31 cases in 12 states and Canada have been identified in the investigation.

FSIS is continuing its investigation into any products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 or that are associated with illnesses and will take appropriate action when necessary.

For those not familiar with Nebraska Beef – click – HERE

"Ubberblogger" at Efoodalert traces the E. coli trail from Nebraska Beef to Whole Foods – Whole Foods had the following to say in its announcement of the meat recall:

Whole Foods Market is informed that the beef in question apparently came from Coleman Natural Beef whose Nebraska Beef processing plant was previously subject to a nationwide recall for E. coli O157:H7 contamination. At the time of the previous recall, Whole Foods Market received assurances from Coleman Natural Beef that no product delivered to Whole Foods Market was linked to the recall. Those assurances are now in question and Whole Foods Market is actively investigating the issue. At this time, no Coleman Natural Beef fresh ground beef products from the Nebraska Beef processing facility are available in any Whole Foods Market stores.

She also correctly points out that Coleman Natural Beef was also implicated in the Ohio Dorothy Lane Market E. coli outbreak last month – which was also linked to Nebraska Beef – a month ago.  Two questions arise from this:

1)  Why did FSIS not recall the Nebraska Beef after the Coleman link was established?

2)  Why did Whole Foods keep selling Coleman product?