Utah firm recalls beef products over E.coli contamination risk

Dale T Smith and Sons Meat Packing, a meat processing firm based in Utah, US, is recalling 38,200lbs of beef products due to possible contamination with E coli O157:H7, according to the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The products affected by the recall are various weight combo bins of Boneless Beef '50/50', '85/15', '90/10', '93/07' or '95/05', and various weight boxes of primal cuts, subprimal cuts and boxed beef, which were produced on 7 August 2012.

Each box features a label with the identifying package date of '08/07/2012' as well as the establishment number 'EST. 4975' inside the USDA mark of inspection.

These products were distributed to wholesale and retail establishments in California and Salt Lake City, Utah.

However, the products intended for further processing and those available for direct consumer purchase may not bear the establishment number 'EST. 4975'.

The products were distributed to wholesale and retail establishments in California and Salt Lake City, Utah.

The contamination, which was identified after USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service conducted lab tests, may have occurred due to a refrigeration malfunction.

FSIS noted that the company is recalling all beef products produced on 7 August 2012 due to a strong possibility of cross contamination during production.

The company and FSIS, however, have not received any reports of illness linked to the consumption of these products.

The recall has been classified as Class I, which indicates a health hazard situation where there are chances of serious, adverse health consequences or even death as a result of consuming the product.

Individuals concerned about an illness have been advised to contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS has urged consumers to safely prepare raw meat product, and to cook ground beef at a temperature of 160°F in order to kill harmful bacteria, including E coli O157:H7.

E coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that can lead to bloody diarrhoea, dehydration and, in the most severe cases, kidney failure, and this foodborne illness can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, newborn infants and those with compromised immune systems.