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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Beef Packers, Inc., a Fresno, California, Recalls 825,769 pounds of ground beef due to salmonellosis Outbreak

Recall Release CLASS I RECALL
FSIS-RC-041-2009 HEALTH RISK: HIGH

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Brian K. Mabry

WASHINGTON, August 6, 2009 - Beef Packers, Inc., a Fresno, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 825,769 pounds of ground beef products that may be linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The products subject to recall include:
  • 60 pound cases of "GRD Beef Sirl Fine 90/10." Each case bears the identifying case code W69012 with Use/Freeze by dates of 06/23/09, 06/26/09, 06/28/09, 06/29/09, 06/30/09, 07/03/09, 07/05/09, 07/06/09, 07/07/09, 07/10/09 and 07/11/09.
  • 60 pound cases of "Grnd Bf Fine Sir 90/10 10/60 H". Each case bears the identifying case code W69064 with Use/Freeze by dates of 06/26/09, 07/03/09, 07/06/09, 07/07/09 and 07/14/09.
  • 60 pound cases of "Grnd Beef 90/10 Fine 60." Each case bears the identifying case code W69063 with Use/Freeze by dates of 06/23/09, 06/26/09, 06/30/09, 07/03/09, 07/07/09, 07/10/09 and 07/11/09.
  • 80 pound cases of "Grnd Beef Fine 91/09 10#/80." Each case bears the identifying case code W69108 with Use/Freeze by dates of 06/30/09, 07/06/09, 07/08/09 and 07/13/09 .
  • 60 pound cases of "Grnd Beef Fine 93/07 10/60." Each case bears the identifying case code W69363 with Use/Freeze by dates of 06/23/09, 06/26/09, 06/28/09, 06/29/09, 06/30/09, 07/03/09, 07/07/09, 07/10/09 and 07/11/09.
  • 60 pound cases of "Grnd Beef Fine 93/07 10#/60 H." Each case bears the identifying case code W69360 with Use/Freeze by date of 06/26/09, 07/03/09, 07/06/09, 07/10/09 and 07/14/09.
  • 40 pound cases of "GRD BEEF FINE 96/04-10#/40." Each case bears the identifying case code W69602 with Use/Freeze by dates of 06/23/09, 06/30/09, 07/03/09, 07/07/09, 07/10/09 and 07/11/09.
The ground beef products were produced on various dates ranging from June 5, 2009 through June 23, 2009 and bear the establishment number "EST. 31913" printed on the case code labels. The ground beef products were distributed to retail distribution centers in Arizona, California, Colorado and Utah. Because these products were repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names, consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall.

As a result of an ongoing investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella Newport associated with ground beef products, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) notified FSIS of the situation. Epidemiological and traceback investigations conducted by FSIS and CDPHE determined that there is an association between the fresh ground beef products and illnesses reported in Colorado. The illnesses were also linked through the epidemiological investigation by their uncommon pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern found in PulseNet, a national network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FSIS would like to remind consumers of the importance of following food safety guidelines when handling and preparing raw meat. Ground beef should be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160° Fahrenheit.

This particular strain of Salmonella Newport is resistant to many commonly prescribed drugs, which can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company's Consumer Line at (877) 872-3635. Media with questions should contact company Director of Communications Rebecca Hayne (316) 291-2126.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

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