UPDATED CONTENT Sept. 29: As of today, at least one retailer that received the recalled products has been identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A WinCo Foods location in Duncanville, TX, received some of the boneless beef trim products recalled by Caviness Beef Packers. The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service will post additional updates as they become available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/current-recalls-and-alerts Consumers and retailers in Texas are urged to be on the lookout (BOLO) for ground beef from Caviness Beef Packers after a positive test result for E. coli O103. An unnamed company processed beef trim from Caviness into ground beef. Caviness, based in Hereford, TX, recalled about 2,100 pounds of “boneless beef trim 84L products” Tuesday evening and reported having control of 1,780 pounds of the implicated beef, according to a notice posted by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). That leaves 320 pounds of meat unaccounted for, with federal officials warning consumers to check their homes for the 73-percent lean ground beef. “FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” according to the recall notice. When available, retail distribution lists for the recalled ground beef will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls. The recalled ground beef can be identified by the following details:
- 1.5-pound tray packs of 73-percent “Regular Ground Beef” with a “Sell By” date of Sept. 28, 2016, and with UPC number 2-01654-00000;
- 2- to 3-pound tray packs of 73-percent “Regular Ground Beef” with a “Sell By” date of Sept. 28, 2016, and with UPC number 2-01656-00000; and
- 10-pound chubs of 73-percent “Regular Ground Beef” with a “Use By” or “Freeze By” date of Oct.10, 2016, and with the UPC number 52846-48935.
Because the recalled products were processed by a firm other than Caviness Beef Packers, they may not carry the Caviness establishment code EST. 675. Neither Caviness nor USDA named the secondary processing company in the recall notice. “The problem was discovered when FSIS was notified of a USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) sample that tested positive for E. coli O103,” according to the recall notice. “Because the company works with the AMS Commodity Program, AMS did routine microbiological testing. This shipment of beef was never intended for the National School Lunch Program (which receives some food through the AMS program) and no sales were made to the (lunch program). There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.” Officials are advising anyone who has eaten the recalled ground beef and become sick with E. coli infection symptoms to contact a doctor and be sure to mention the possible exposure to E. coli O103 specifically. There is some concern that health care providers and labs may not test for E. coli O103 infection even if people present classic symptoms of E. coli infection. “Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), such as STEC O103 because it is harder to identify than STEC O157,” according to the recall notice. People can become ill from STEC infection two to eight days after consuming the bacteria. Most people infected with STEC O103 develop diarrhea, which is often bloody, and vomiting. Many people recover within a week, but some develop a more severe infection called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS can occur in people of any age, but it is most common in children younger than 5, older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately. Public health officials advise consumers to safely cook ground beef to a temperature of 160 degrees F. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature. Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Trevor Caviness, president of Caviness Beef Packers, at 806-372-5781. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)