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E. Coli Tainted Rochester Meat Company Ground Beef Sickens 5, Prompts Recall

Jan 14, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

E. coli tainted meat has sickened 5 people in 2 states, prompting a recall of 188,000 pounds of contaminated ground beef patties and other products.   The ground beef recall by the Minnesota-based Rochester Meat Company is the largest recall of E. coli contaminated meat so far this year.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), ground beef tainted with E. Coli O157:H7 distributed by the Rochester Meat Company has sickened four people in Wisconsin and a fifth person in California. E. coli is a bacterium that occurs naturally in the intestines of most animals, including humans. Most types of the bacteria are harmless, but the E. coli 0157:H7 strain can be particularly dangerous to people. The symptoms of E. coli poisoning usually occur within 3 to 9 days after a victim eats contaminated foods. E. coli 0157:H7 causes a disease called hemorrhagic colitis, which is the sudden onset of stomach pain and severe cramps. This is followed by diarrhea that is watery and bloody. Sometimes there is vomiting, but there is no fever. The illness lasts about a week. While most people will recover completely, E. coli poisoning can be very dangerous for children, the elderly and anyone with a weak immune system. In some cases, E. coli 0157:H7 will cause a disorder called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be life-threatening. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), E. coli 0157:H7 is responsible for sickening 73,000 people every year, and of those, 60 will die from the disease.

The Rochester Meat Company ground beef products subject to recall were produced on Oct. 30, 2007, and Nov. 6, 2007. The E. coli contaminated ground beef was shipped to distributors nationwide for further distribution to restaurants and food service institutions. The recalled Rochester Meat Company ground beef was not sold in retail stores to the general public.  The recalled ground beef includes:

•    10-pound boxes of “SEASONED BEEF BULK” bearing a product number of “09068,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “730314.”

•    10-pound boxes of “100% PURE BEEF PATTIES” bearing a product number of “09071,” as well as an eight-digit a lot number beginning with “731013.”

•    15-pound boxes of “CHEYENNE SEASONED BEEF PATTIES” bearing a product number of “12017” or “12018,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “730314.”

•    10-, 15- and 20-pound boxes of “100% PURE GROUND BEEF PATTIES” bearing a product number of “1340,” “127533,” “135724,” “158843” or “158852,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “731013” or “731014.”

•    10-pound boxes of “100% PURE GROUND CHUCK BEEF PATTIES” bearing a product number of “158898,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “731014.”

•    10-, 15- and 25-pound boxes of “100% PURE GROUND BEEF CHUCK PATTIES” bearing a product number of “85227,” “227806,” “407823,” “407830,” “407840,” “417841” or “437531,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “730314,” “731013,” or “731014.”

•    10-pound boxes of “OUR HOMESTYLE 100% PURE GROUND BEEF PATTIES” bearing a product number of “208033,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “731014.”

•    15-pound boxes of “SEASONED BEEF PATTIES” bearing a product number of “357835,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “730314.”

•    15- and 15.3-pound boxes of “USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER 100% PURE GROUND BEEF PATTIES” bearing a product number of “437507” or “437521,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “730314,” “731013,” or “731014.”

•    15-pound boxes of “USDA CHOICE OR HIGHER GROUND BEEF CHUCK PATTIES” bearing a product number of “437822,” as well as an eight-digit lot number beginning with “731014.”

Each box bears the establishment number “Est. 8999” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The Rochester Meat Company ground beef recall has been deemed a Class I recall by the USDA, meaning there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.  


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