The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently conducted a Food Safety Assessment at Fort Worth’s Beltex Corporation and discovered possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.  That in turn forced the Texas establishment to recall of 135,500 pounds of beef trim.

Each box bears the establishment number “EST. 07041B” inside the USDA mark of inspection on a label.

The products were produced on Oct. 28, 2009, Nov. 20, 2009, Feb. 19, 2010, or April 2, 2010, and were distributed to wholesalers and other federal establishments in Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

The Food Safety Assessment found the establishment’s methods for analyzing samples for E. coli O157:H7 in beef products raised concerns about the safety of the product.

FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these recalled products. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers (including restaurants) of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

Questions regarding the recall should be directed to the company’s main line, (817) 624-1136.