–The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing a Public Health Alert for raw boneless beef trim products imported from Canada that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
FSIS testing of raw boneless beef trim product from Canadian Establishment 38, XL Foods, Inc., confirmed positive for E. coli O157:H7 on September 3, 2012. FSIS alerted the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) of the positive results. After follow-up testing by FSIS and CFIA, the CFIA announced a recall by XL Foods, Inc. of a variety of ground beef products on September 16, 2012. Subsequently, the CFIA has expanded the scope of the recall to include additional products.
The company has notified its customers, including U.S. establishments that beef trim associated with the recall was shipped to them. FSIS is working expeditiously to perform effectiveness checks to confirm that all trim received at FSIS-inspected establishments from Canadian Establishment 38, either received a full lethality treatment or that no raw trim was further distributed and manufactured into other not-ready-to-eat product. In addition, for products that may have been further distributed and manufactured into other not-ready-to-eat product, FSIS is working to confirm that actions are being taken to remove the product from commerce. FSIS is taking all necessary steps to ensure that all raw ground products produced from the recalled trim are removed from commerce.
While the investigation continues, FSIS is issuing a Public Health Alert to inform food service operations and consumers. The products subject to the Canadian recall were distributed to U.S. establishments in the following states: California, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. At the U.S. establishments, these products may have been further processed into various products, such as ground beef, ground beef patties, beef jerky and pastrami. FSIS will continue to provide information as it becomes available, including information about any related recall. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on FSIS’ website at www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/
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.