Between February 18 and 24, 2010, Kroger, the country’s largest grocery store chain, recalled five separate beef products for potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The recall information is listed on the company’s Website, but in very limited detail.
According to the Kroger Website, burritos and tamales containing beef potentially contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 were distributed under the Little Juan, Tina’s, Don Miguel, XLNT, and Deli names. Retailers distributing these brands are Smith’s Food and Drug, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, QFC, and Fry’s. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), however, does not have these corresponding products or brands listed on their current recall list, which FSIS policy mandates.
In January 2000, FSIS changed its policy regarding issuance of recall press releases. FSIS now issues a press release for all classifications of meat and poultry recalls, whereas press releases used to be issued primarily for Class I recalls.
According to FSIS, Class I recalls are defined as situations where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death. Class II recalls are defined as situations where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product. Class III recalls are defined as situations where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.
The current recalls listed on the Kroger site would fall under the Class I category.
Food Safety News spoke briefly to a Kroger spokesperson, who confirmed the recalls but failed to provide more information. A call to FSIS was unreturned.