E Coli :: Topps Meat recalls Ground Beef contaminated with E. coli

Topps Meat Company LLC., located in Elizabeth, NJ, has voluntarily expanded its recall announced on September_25 to include 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

This represents all products produced by Topps with a “sell by date” or “best if used by date” that falls between September_25, 2007 and September_25, 2008.

This information may be found on the back panel of the package. All recalled products will have a USDA establishment number of EST 9748, which is located on the back panel of the package and/or in the USDA legend.

“Because the health and safety of our consumers is our top priority, we are taking these expansive measures,” said Vice President of Operations Geoffrey Livermore. “Topps is continuing to work with the USDA, state departments of health, retailers and distributors to ensure the safety of our consumers. Additionally, we have augmented our internal quality control procedures with microbiologists and food safety experts. We sincerely regret any inconvenience and concerns this may cause our consumers.”

The problem was discovered through sampling done by the New York State Department of Health as part of their coordinated investigation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into reported illnesses. This is the first product recall in the 65-year history of Topps.

Products affected by this expanded recall were distributed to retail grocery stores and food service institutions throughout the United States. Based on consumption patterns, the Company believes that the vast majority of the recalled product has been consumed.

It is imperative that consumers look for these products in their freezers immediately. If you have a product marked with the above information, please remove the sell-by date and UPC code and send it to: Attn: Recall Coordinator, Topps Meat Company LLC, P.O. Box 219, 1161 E. Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07207 for a full refund. It is important to dispose the remaining product immediately.

Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 exposure could include stomach cramps and diarrhea. Bloody diarrhea may develop. E. coli disease sometimes leads to a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). If you exhibited any of these symptoms within 3 to 5 days of consuming any of the products specified above, seek medical attention immediately.

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