E Coli :: Illinois firm recalls ground beef products due to E. coli contamination

J & B Meats Corporation Inc., a Coal Valley, Ill., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 173,554 pounds of frozen ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

The products subject to recall include:

2-pound boxes of “TOPPS PREMIUM 100% PURE SIRLOIN BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK BURGERS, 6 1/3 LB. HOMESTYLE BURGERS.” Each box bears a use by date of “06/22/08.”

8-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 32 QUARTER POUNDERS.” Each box bears a use by date of “06/12/08,” “06/18/08” or “06/22/08.”

3-pound bags of “SAM’S CHOICE BACKYARD GOURMET BEEF BURGERS, 80/20, 12 QUARTER POUND ROUND PATTIES.” Each bag bears a use by date of “03/08/08.”

3-pound boxes of “TOPPS 100% PURE GROUND BEEF HAMBURGERS, 12 QUARTER POUNDERS.” Each box bears a use by date of “06/18/08.”

Each package also bears the establishment number “Est. 5712.” The frozen ground beef products were produced on June 12, June 18 and June 22, 2007, and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

For best quality, FSIS recommends consumers use any frozen ground beef products within three to four months of the stated use by date. It is important that consumers look for the recalled products and return them if found in their freezers.

The problem was discovered through an investigation into illness reported to the FSIS Consumer Complaint Monitoring System (CCMS). While the investigation is ongoing, J & B Meats is voluntarily recalling the products based on a preliminary analysis of epidemiological data. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall should call the company’s recall line at (888) 734-0451.

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.

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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