Multiple meat recalls hit America

Suspected metal, E.coli and chemical contamination have sparked meat recall in the US

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has reported three major meat recalls in the country over the past three days.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, John Morrell and Co is recalling approximately 210,606lb of ready-to-eat hot dog products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically metal.

The beef franks items were produced on 26 January 2017 and were shipped to retail locations nationwide. The problem was discovered after the establishment received three complaints of metal objects in the beef frank product packages. The establishment notified FSIS on 19 May 2017.

In Washington, Correctional Industries Airway Heights Food Operations has recalled approximately 319,000lb of frozen meat and poultry products due to water contamination. The products were produced using water that contained chemical levels above those considered safe to drink.

Chemical contamination

The meat and poultry items were produced and packed on various dates from 1 April 2017 through 15 May 2017.

Airway Heights notified FSIS that the 8 May 2017 water sampling of several wells, which supply the municipal water system, demonstrated chemical contamination. The city of Airway Heights issued an advisory health alert to not drink or use the water for cooking purposes because the water contained elevated levels of fluorinated organic chemicals, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), above the Environmental Protection Agency Lifetime Health Advisory (HA) levels.

Finally, FSIS has issued a public health alert to inform consumers that approximately 1,631lb of raw veal products imported from the Netherlands may be contaminated with non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O103. The raw boneless veal products were produced at Establishment 9EG, EKRO BV, Netherlands. The product was derived from calves that were slaughtered on 8 March 2017 and 9 March 2017, and further processed and packaged on 9 March 2017 and 13 March 2017. FSIS learned that an additional 90lb of product were implicated from Establishment 9EG, EKRO BV, Netherlands, which tested positive for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O103. The product was derived from calves slaughtered on 11 April 2017 through 13 April 2017, and further processed and packaged on 14 April 2017 through 18 April 2017.

FSIS added that non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) outbreaks were rare, but tended to be due primarily to contaminated food and person-to-person transmission. Like E.coli O157:H7, non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhoea and abdominal cramps two to eight days (three to four days on average) after exposure the organism.

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