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Missouri firm's recall of beef ribeye and carcass products

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The USDA's June 11, 2014 recall of beef products applies to reducing the risk of possible mad cow disease because the dorsal root ganglia may not have been completely removed, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) news release, "034-2014 Missouri Firm Recalls Ribeye and Carcass Products That May Contain Specified Risk Materials." The USDA requires brain and spinal tissue be removed from meat products from cattle 30 years and older because it can carry the protein that causes mad cow disease. You also may wish to see the June 13, 2014 Courant.com article, "Whole Foods Says Recalled Beef Is Safe."

Whole Foods Market said Friday it determined that the grass-fed rib-eye steaks for which a recall was issued Thursday are safe, the news article notes. The USDA issued the recall due to concern that the nervous system tissue associated with mad cow disease may not have been removed from the cattle during processing, and that the cattle were older than 30 months.

The recall is labeled a Class II Recall 034-2014, although the health risk is low, according to the news release, "034-2014 Missouri Firm Recalls Ribeye and Carcass Products That May Contain Specified Risk Materials." A class II recall means that this is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.

Fruitland American Meat, a Jackson, Missouri establishment is recalling approximately 4,012 pounds of fresh beef products because the dorsal root ganglia may not have been completely removed, which is not compliant with agency regulations that require their removal in cattle 30 months of age and older, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. You also can see the website, "Fruitland American Meat Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye And Beef Carcasses."

The products subject to recall include:

  • 40-lb. cases containing two, roughly 20-lb. cryovac packages of bone-in “Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye” bearing the establishment number “EST. 2316” inside the USDA mark of inspection with the following production dates: 9/5/13, 9/10/13, 9/11/13, 9/26/13, 10/2/13, 10/3/2013, 11/8/13, 11/22/13, 12/17/13, 12/26/13, 12/27/13,1/16/14, 1/17/14, 1/23/14, 1/31/14, 2/13/14, 2/14/14, 2/21/14, 2/28/14, 3/8/14, 3/20/14, 4/4/14 or 4/25/14 printed on the box.
  • Quartered beef carcasses stamped with the USDA mark of inspection and establishment number “EST. 2316.”

The products were produced and packaged on various dates between September 2013 and April 2014: The bone-in ribeye roasts were the source material of concern

Fruitland American Meat advises that the bone-in ribeye roasts were distributed to a restaurant in New York, NY, and a Whole Foods distribution center in Connecticut which services its stores in New England. The quartered carcasses were distributed to an FSIS-inspected establishment in Missouri for further processing and distribution, and to a restaurant in Kansas City, Mo. All products would have been processed into smaller cuts with no identifying consumer packaging.

The USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) discovered the problem during a review of company slaughter logs

The problem may have occurred as a result of the way some company employees were recording information and determining the age of various cattle. Dorsal root ganglia, branches of the nervous system located in the vertebral column are considered specified risk materials (SRMs) and must be removed from cattle 30 months of age and older in accordance with FSIS regulations.

SRMs are tissues that may contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

Every animal received ante-mortem inspection by an FSIS Public Health Veterinarian

This involves observing each animal at rest and in motion and there is no indication that any of the cattle slaughtered displayed any signs of BSE. FSIS and Fruitland American Meat have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list will be posted on the USDA's FSIS Government Recalls website.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at askkaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. “Ask Karen” live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. You may wish to check out the website for the phone numbers.

The first cases of vCJD were first reported in 1996, and so far a total of 229 patients with this disease from 12 countries have been identified, according to the CDC

On 2014-06-11, the USDA announced that Fruitland American Meat is conducting a recall on Rain Crow Ranch Ribeye And Beef Carcasses due to a possible incorrect processing procedure. The recalled products were sold under the brand name(s) Fruitland American Meat during an unspecified time period.

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