SAN DIEGO MEAT COMPANY RECALLS GROUND BEEF AFTER USDA FINDS E-COLI CONTAMINATION

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MEAT SOLD TO LOCAL RESTAURANTS & CATERERS, USDA WARNS—BUT COMPANY REFUSES TO RELEASE NAMES

October 14, 2009 (San Diego) – San Diego Meat Company is recalling approximately 925 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E-coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced yesterday.

According to the USDA, the meat was distributed to local restaurants and caterers. However San Diego Meat Company refused a request today from East County Magazine to provide names of local food establishments that may have received contaminated beef.

 

“There haven’t been any illnesses reported,” said Bob Watkins,co-owner. “That’s between us and our customers. The USDA’s test came back positive; our test on the same batch came back negative…We decided to err on the side of caution.” None of the meat was distributed to schools or grocery stores, the meat wholesaler confirmed.
 

The products subject to recall include:
 

• " 15-pound cases of "SAN DIEGO MEAT, GROUND BEEF PATTIES."
• " 10-pound bags of "SAN DIEGO MEAT, BULK GROUND BEEF."
 

Each case and bag bears establishment number "EST. 4116" inside the USDA marks of inspection and "Safe Handling Instructions" on the back. The front of each package advises "KEEP REFRIGERATED."

 

The above products were produced October 7, 2009 through October 9, 2009 and October 12, 2009 and were distributed to restaurants and two caterers in the San Diego County area.

 

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.

 

The problem was discovered through FSIS microbiological sampling. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these 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.

 

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

 

For more information on the recall, and for safe cooking instructions for ground meats, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_052_2009_Release/index.asp