According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspections Services, American Foods Group has voluntarily recalled almost 96,000 pounds of ground beef products. The products involved include coarse and fine-ground beef chuck, sirloin and chop beef. They were produced on October 10, 2007, and distributed throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Virginia.
Consumers are advised to contact their retailer to ask if they received any of the suspect products and discard or return the beef, if it may be contaminated. Consumers with questions about the recall should contact American Foods Group Executive Assistant Sally Vanderhei at (800) 829-2838.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium which causes bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Children and elderly people are more susceptible to further complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, E. coli is a leading cause of foodborne illness, with an estimate of 73,000.00 cases of infection each year. Some preventive measures include thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding unpasteurized milk and thoroughly washing hands before preparing or eating food. Fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed prior to consumption, especially if they will be eaten without being cooked first.
In a post earlier this year, we reported on the FDA pilot program to better educate consumers of recalled food products. The FDA has not yet reported whether the pilot program was effective.