BUTLER, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cargill Meat Solutions said it is voluntarily recalling approximately 844,812 pounds of frozen ground beef patties because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The recall is based on an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture, as well as Cargill’s investigation and findings from a food safety assessment conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Cargill Meat Solutions ground beef plant in Butler, Wis. Minnesota officials had investigated four cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection involving individuals who had consumed American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties purchased at Sam’s Club stores in the state. While the investigation is ongoing, Cargill is voluntarily recalling the products based on a preliminary analysis of epidemiological data.
The products subject to the recall were produced on Aug. 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17, 2007, and were distributed nationwide. Each package bears the establishment number “Est. 924A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products include:
Products distributed at the retail and subject to recall are:
Products distributed to restaurants and institutions and subject to recall include:
“We are concerned that some consumers may still have the product sold at retail in their freezers,” said Bill Rupp, president of Cargill Meat Solutions. “We and Sam’s Club are urging customers to return or destroy any American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties purchased in any of their stores since August.”
Rupp said the company learned of the situation shortly before noon on Friday. Based on information from Minnesota and USDA officials, the company investigated further and expanded the scope beyond Minnesota. Although the extent of any contamination is unknown, Cargill Meat Solutions has undertaken the voluntary recall as a proactive and cautionary step.
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company’s food safety line at 866-567-7899. Media with questions should contact the company’s media representative, Mark Klein, at 952-742-6211.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Food safety experts recommend cooking any ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F., or until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Also, avoid contaminating other foods with any E. coli bacteria that may be present in meat by:
Consumers with food safety questions also 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 10 a.m to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.