Beef bound for processing, where it was or would have been cooked, has instead been called back after tests detected it might be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

Tri State Beef of Cincinnati, OH, said Wednesday it was recalling approximately 228,596 pounds of beef products after routine tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) confirmed a positive result for E. coli.

FSIS, in a news release, acknowledged that the beef was distributed to facilities where it was to be cooked, which would have killed the E. coli pathogen.

But “because the products were shipped into commerce they are subject to recall, even though they were shipped to other federally-inspected establishments where they received full-lethality treatment and would no longer be considered adulterated,” the regulator said.

There are no reports of illnesses associated with the beef.

The recall involves combo bins of “TRI-STATE BEEF CO., INC BONELESS BEEF,” produced between July 19 and 22, 2011, and sold for further processing and distribution in Iowa; Virginia; Chicago, IL; and Cincinnati and Columbus, OH. Each bin bears the establishment number “EST. 1750” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company’s attorney, Mark Fitch, at 513-731-8459.

  • Jess C. Rajan, Ph.D.

    ‚ÄúEach bin bears the establishment number “EST. 1750” inside the USDA mark of inspection‚Äù.
    According to 9 CFR § 301.2, the USDA official mark of inspection “means that the product so identified has been inspected and passed under the regulations in this subchapter, and at the time it was inspected, passed, and identified, it was found to be not adulterated”.
    The Recall Notice (FSIS-RC-056-2011) assumes that the recalled products (bearing the USDA mark of inspection) did not contaminate the receiving/processing establishments and/or “adulterate” their products.
    Presently, the USDA mark of inspection has only marketing significance for passing meat food products to enter interstate commerce. FSIS needs to amend its regulations and procedures to be consistent with its assigned food safety mission.

  • Alan McGriff

    Currently, USDA rules allows beef product tested positive in-plant for E. coli O157:H7 labeled with the establishment’s legend number and as “For Cooking Only” shipped to another official federal inspected establishment, which has an existing HACCP plan for lethality. The only additional requirement is the USDA District where the positive product was produced notifies the District where the positive product is being shipped. In any case the product which is known to be positive for E. coli and labeled “For Cooking Only” and any product not known to be positive but still labeled “For Cooking Only” both carry the official marl of inspection stating the product is wholesome. I would assume any beef product returned due to this re-cal can be subsequently shipped back in commerce under this rule and probably to the same official plant it was returned from.

  • Minkpuppy

    Alan, that’s probably exactly what’s going to happen. I’m scratching my head on this one. Sometimes FSIS gets too wrapped up in procedures and protocol and can’t see the forest for the trees. Would it really hurt anyone if they had just allowed the product to be retained at the receiving facility instead of recalled? Why force unnecessary expenses on the original plant by making them ship it twice to the same dang plant?
    Makes me embarrassed to be an inspector.

  • No Meat 4 Me

    I just watched the Documentary on Netflix called:
    “Food, Inc.”
    That was a lesson in E. coli for me… WOW! check it out, you will stay alive alot longer.