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On April 21, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA announced a beef recall. Beltex Corporation, a Fort Worth, Texas, company is recalling nearly 135,500 pounds of beef trim products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The contamination was discovered by FSIS during a routine Food Safety Assessment performed at Beltex. According to the FSIS press release, the company's methods for analyzing samples for E. coli in their beef products raised concerns about the safety of the product. The meat products under recall were produced on Oct. 28, 2009, Nov. 20, 2009, Feb. 19, 2010, or on April 2, 2010, and were distributed to wholesalers and other federal establishments in the states of Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
Each box containing the recalled beef bears the establishment number "EST. 07041B" inside the USDA mark of inspection on the label. For the full list of the types of Beltex beef the FSIS has recalled, click here. No illnesses associated with this meat have been reported to the FSIS.
The FSIS reminds consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, both fresh and frozen, and to only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to ensure beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli is to use a food thermometer and measure the internal temperature of the meat.
For questions regarding the recall, consumers should call the company's main line, (817) 624-1136. 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.