Beef eaters will be sad to learn that the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a ground beef recall. The National Beef Packing, Co., in Liberal, Kansas, recalled nearly 23,000 pounds of raw ground beef products due to a possible E. coli contamination.
The following items are subject to the recall:
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Coarse Ground Chuck, package code “0481.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 81/19 Coarse Ground Beef, package code “0421.”
• 10 lb. packages of “National Beef” 80/20 Fine Ground Chuck, package code “0484.”
All these products have a “USE BY/SELL BY DATE” of June 14, 2013, and bear the establishment number “EST. 208A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on May 25, 2013, and shipped to various institutions and retail establishments in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Arizona. FSIS and the establishment are concerned that some product may be frozen and in shoppers’ freezers.
What is E. coli?
E. Coli can be a deadly bacterium that causes dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps within a couple of days to a week once exposed. A type of kidney failure, hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), associated with E. coli poisoning can also be brought on from the bacteria.
Safety tips from the USDA for handling beef
PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION
Wash hands before and after handling raw meat with warm/hot (preferred) or cold soapy running water by rubbing hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot (preferred), soapy water and clean up any spills right away. The mechanical action of vigorous rubbing of hands and utensils/surfaces creates friction that helps to dislodge bacteria and viruses from hands and surfaces.
Additionally, warm/hot water helps to dissolve fats/foods, aiding in cleaning/microbe removal and can also assist in deactivation of pathogens. For more information on hand washing, go to http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
If soapy water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations. However, sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, including viruses.
Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be thoroughly cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and their juices and thoroughly cooked foods. Thoroughly cook ground meat such as beef to an internal temperature of 160º F, as measured with a food thermometer, before eating. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90º F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.