Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

The Latest in Beef Recalls: Beef Recalled by CA Firm

Approximately 864,000 pounds of beef recalled may be contaminated with E. coli. This is the most recent in the rash of beef recalls covered by Findlaw's Common Law Blog. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the California firm Huntington Meat Packing, Inc. is recalling the following items:

  • 40 lb. boxes of "Huntington Meats Ground Beef"
  • 40 lb. boxes of "HUNTINGTON MEAT PKG. INC. BEEF GROUND FOR FURTHER PROCESSING"
  • 40 lb. boxes of "BEEF BURRITO FILLING MIX"
    10 lb. boxes of "IMPERIAL MEAT CO. GROUND BEEF PATTY"
  • 20 lb. boxes of "IMPERIAL MEAT CO. GROUND BEEF PATTY"
  • 10 lb. boxes of "El Rancho MEAT & PROVISION ALL BEEF PATTIES"

The recall involves products made from January 5, 2010 to January 15, 2010. The recall also include products made from February 19, 2008 to May 15, 2008. Most of the products have been shipped to distribution centers, restaurants, and hotels within the State of California.

There are currently no reports of any E. coli infection because of the beef recalled. E. coli infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Sometimes, E. coli poisoning can lead to death or even paralysis. We recently covered a lawsuit filed by a dancer paralyzed by a tainted beef patty that she ate a family barbeque in Findlaw's Injured blog.

This beef recall is just one of many. We recently covered just how many beef recalls there have been in the past few months on Findlaw's Common Law Blog.

These recalls illustrate a need for stricter inspections standards. The New York Times quotes Donna Rosenbaum, executive director of Safe Tables Our Priority, as saying, “To this day, contamination problems are not found by any checks on the products by companies. They’re found when people get sick, and that’s a failure in the system.” This particular beef recall was done after FSIS found possible contamination.

Currently the FSIS recommends that all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature.

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