WASHINGTON, March 24, 2012– Food Court News reported on Friday on the expansion of a Canadian beef recall. The recall grows further with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announcing a public health alert for imports. The alert is for ground beef patties imported from Canada because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and may be associated with an illness in Canada. FSIS was notified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that ground beef patties associated with a Canadian health alert may have been exported to the United States. There has been one reported illness (in Canada as of 3/23/2012) associated with ground beef product produced by the same establishment in Canada.
Imported products were produced by New Food Classics, CFIA Establishment 761 of Saskatoon, Ontario and were imported by Sysco Food Services to a distribution center in Blaine, Wash. for use by food service institutions. Immediately as FSIS announced the public health alert, Sysco Seattle Inc., a Seattle, Wash. firm, recalled approximately 16,800 pounds of ground beef patties imported from Canada.
Since the issuance of the Public Health Alert, FSIS has learned that Sysco was contacted by the Canadian firm and began notifying their customers on March 20. FSIS was unaware of the firm’s actions and proceeded with the Public Health Alert out of an abundance of caution.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160°F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.
(Source — USDA FSIS recall announcement, 3/24/2012; Publich Health Agency of Canada)
Contributed By: Michael “Mick” Guerini, Microbiologist and Technical Writer
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