Truth about FOOD CONTAMINATION
     
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Points For Opposing Animal ID

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ARAPA Statement to the Senate Ag Committee

Codex Alimentarius

FORCED NAIS

Sound Science Killing Us

What Can I Do?

2006 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA

What are the vets saying?

BREAKING NEWS

Congressmen Speak Out

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Mad Cow Madness

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2007 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA

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ALERTS

Corporate Hostile Takeover

What About The Amish?

CONSTITUTION RULES

How do Packers fit in?

The Real Reason for Animal ID

AUSSIE ANIMAL ID IMPACT STUDY

Endangered Property Rights

Organic & Grassfed Growers Also Affected

DATABASES - How Safe Are They?

Wake Up, Farmers!

USDA/APHIS NAIS DOCUMENTS

CAPTIVE ANIMAL FACTORY FARMING

Technology Behind NAIS

AUSSIE RANCHER SPEAKS OUT

NIAA Conference Reports

Pushing Us Off Our Farms

Ag Lawyer Responds to the NAIS

NAIS SUMMARY

INDUSTRIALIZED FARMING

Uncle Sam Wants YOUR Animals!

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NAIS DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN

What is REAL ID?

"CREATIVE" SIGN-UPS BY THE GOVERNMENT

Animal ID Problems in Other Countries

Farm Bureau Connection

NAIS Threatens Rare Breeds

RFID Tags - Good, Bad & Ugly

R-CALF USA Fights NAIS

Retired Army Colonel Rebuts NAIS

Equine Species Working Group Contacts

BRUCE KNIGHT'S SPEECH

INFO ON USDA'S NEW "USER'S GUIDE"

SCRAPIE ID for Goats/Sheep & the NAIS

NAIS ID Terminology

GETTING OUT OF THE NAIS

The PLUM ISLAND CONNECTION

The Plan is AGENDA 21

4-H, FFA Targeted at Fairs

MICROCHIPS Cause CANCER

Leon's Story - Chipped Dog Died From Cancer

TRACKING ROGUE CHICKENS

Protection From Terrorist Livestock

NAIS NEWS in OTHER STATES

Truth about FOOD CONTAMINATION

TRUTH about Foot & Mouth Vaccines

MICROCHIP PROBLEMS IN DUTCH HORSES

What is DELPHI TECHNIQUE

NEW INFORMATION ON EQUINES

2005 ARKANSAS COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH USDA/APHIS

CONTACT GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS FOR ARKANSAS

Bird Flu Fowl Play

USDA, INCORPORATED

ECONOMIC IMPACT ON HORSE OWNERS

 
AMERICANS ARE BEING TOLD THAT WE *NEED* ANIMAL TRACEBACK/NAIS BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT THINGS LIKE E-COLI IN OUR MCDONALD'S HAMBURGER. THIS PAGE IS DEDICATED TO NEWS ITEMS ABOUT DISEASE OUTBREAKS SUCH AS E-COLI. THEY WILL PROVE THAT IT IS NOT THE FARMERS WHO ARE THE PROBLEM, IT IS THE PACKERS AND PROCESSORS WHERE DISEASES LARGELY ENTER OUR FOOD SUPPLY. THERE ARE LAWS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS REGULATING HOW FOOD/MEAT IS TO BE PROCESSED SAFELY. CRACKING DOWN ON PROCESSORS AND PACKERS WITH THE LAWS WE ALREADY HAVE WOULD ALMOST COMPLETELY DO AWAY WITH THE THREAT OF DISEASES SUCH AS E-COLI. ANOTHER WAY TO HELP DO AWAY WITH E-COLI IS TO SIMPLY PUT CATTLE ON HAY AND/OR PASTURE THE LAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE THEY ARE SLAUGHTERED. NO GRAIN, JUST ROUGHAGE, AND IT CLEANS OUT THEIR GUTS. BUT THE PACKERS WON'T DO THIS... THEY WOULD RATHER PUNISH INNOCENT ANIMAL OWNERS/FARMERS WITH THINGS LIKE THE NAIS WHICH WILL NOT STOP A SINGLE BURGER FROM HAVING E-COLI IN IT.  MAKING SURE THE PERSON AT THE MEAT GRINDER IS DOING HIS JOB RIGHT, WILL STOP IT! AND JUST LOOK AT THE IMMENSE WASTE BECAUSE OF THESE RECALLS - ALL THOSE ANIMALS DIED FOR NOTHING. (THE PARAGRAPH ABOVE WAS WRITTEN BY A PERSON WHO HAS GROUND UP MORE HAMBURGER FOR COMMERCIAL SALE THAN YOU'LL EVER EAT IN YOUR LIFE.) 

 IF THE USDA IS SO WORRIED ABOUT E-COLI THAT THEY WANT TO FORCE AMERICANS TO TAG ALL OF THEIR ANIMALS, WHY WON'T THEY APPROVE A VACCINE TO PREVENT E-COLI? A VACCINE THAT IS ALREADY BEING USED IN CANADA? JUST LIKE THEY WON'T LET PEOPLE USE THE BSE TEST FOR MAD COW, AND THEY WON'T LET THE VACCINE FOR FOOT AND MOUTH BE USED, ETC. WE NEED TO ASK *WHY*??!

USDA denies licensure for E. coli cattle vaccine
 
By Lindsey Klingele on 10/8/2007 for Meatingplace.com

Belleville, Ontario-based biopharmaceutical company Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. announced that the USDA has denied approval to license the company's E. coli O157:H7 cattle vaccine.

The setback for the vaccine comes at a time of intense public and industry scrutiny over E. coli testing and management. On Friday, Elizabeth, N.J.-based Topps Meat Co. announced that it was shutting its doors in the wake of one of the largest ground beef recalls in history. (See Topps bottoms out, ends operations after 'shocking and sobering' recall, on Meatingplace.com, Oct. 5, 2007.) Proponents are hopeful that a widely available E. coli vaccine would substantially reduce, if not eliminate, similar recalls in the future.

Insufficient data

The USDA indicated in a letter to the company that the field-use data submitted in support of the vaccine was not sufficient for licensure. The company said it will submit additional statistical analyses and supporting rationale to the USDA in the coming weeks. If that data is insufficient as well, Bioniche Life Sciences will be required to pursue additional vaccine studies in 2008.

Bioniche Life Sciences' vaccine also remains under review by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which has already approved the distribution of the vaccine under its Permit to Release Veterinary Biologics regulations. This measure allows Canadian cattle owners, through their veterinarians, to request the vaccine from the company.

How it works

The vaccine purportedly works by preventing the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria from attaching to the intestines of cattle, thus reducing the reproduction of the bacteria within the animal. Over the past five years, more than 30,000 cattle have been involved in clinical testing of the vaccine.

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FOOD IS CONTAMINATED AT THE PACKERS AND PROCESSORS, NOT THE FARMS!

http://www.star-telegram.com/448/story/345741.html

Cattle fed distiller's grain prone to E. coli, study suggests

By ROXANA HEGEMAN
AP Farm Writer

WICHITA, Kan. -- In a study that could have far-reaching food safety implications, researchers at Kansas State University have found that cattle fed a byproduct of ethanol production are twice as likely to carry a potentially deadly strain of E. coli bacteria.

"Distiller's grain is a good animal feed. That's why ethanol plants are often built next to feedlots," T.G. Nagaraja, a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State's College of Veterinary Medicine, said in a news release announcing his findings.

The United States has about 73,000 cases of E. coli infection and 61 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most cases are caused by eating contaminated hamburger.

The E. coli 0157 strain studied by Kansas State University is the same kind found in a series of recent illnesses and massive recalls of contaminated meat - although the Kansas State study itself did not link the ethanol byproducts to those specific cases.

Last month, agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. recalled more than 1 million pounds of ground beef from a Pennsylvania plant that was contaminated with E. coli 157:H7, a bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration.

Nagaraja and Jim Drouillard, a professor of animal sciences at the university, have collaborated on a study to test the prevalence of E. coli 0157 in cattle as well as the carcass quality of cattle fed distiller's grain.

They reached their conclusions after three rounds of testing.

"Beef safety is always at the top of the industry's priority list, and for obvious reasons," said Todd Domer, spokesman for the Kansas Livestock Association, an industry trade group representing cattle producers and feed yards.

The industry has spent millions of checkoff dollars collected from beef producers on E. coli intervention strategies - such as the use of steam pasteurization and carcass foam in meatpacking plants. The industry also pays for education to show consumers that proper cooking kills the bacteria, Domer said.

Behind Texas, Kansas is the nation's second largest beef feeding state with 2.4 million cattle on feed on Nov. 1.

Although KLA had no information on how many Kansas feed yards were using distiller's grain from ethanol production, Domer said its use is increasing because of its availability and the knowledge about how to use it.

Symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps that may be severe and diarrhea that may turn bloody within one to three days. E. coli can sometimes lead to complications such as kidney failure.

The food safety questions raised by the study also have profound implications for ethanol plants, which sell their distiller's grain byproducts to feed yards. For every bushel of grain used by ethanol plants, one-third goes to ethanol, one-third to distiller's grains and one-third to carbon dioxide.

"The study is interesting, but we don't know the significance of it at this point in real world conditions," said Dave Ray, spokesman for the American Meat Institute, the industry group representing meatpackers. "Even the researchers have said more research is needed to evaluate the practical significance of this finding."

Research in the next few years will focus on finding out the reasons for the prevalence of the bacteria in cattle fed a distiller's grain diet. Nagaraja said it could be related to changes in the animal's gut from the diet. The byproduct may also provide a nutrient for the E. coli bacteria.

Domer said more work needs to be done to see if the prevalence of E. coli contamination can be controlled by providing cattle that are fed distiller's grain with other feed sources.

"The research is still early and probably needs more work so we can know how to control the situation," Domer said.

Feeding cattle distiller's grain is a big economic advantage for ethanol plants," Nagaraja said. "We realize we can't tell cattle producers, 'Don't feed distiller's grain.' What we want to do is not only understand the reasons why 0157 increases, but also find a way to prevent that from happening."

"Grass fed beef has much lower problems with the worst strain of E.coli.
They think it is the pH changes in the gut. Grass is alkaline - grains
are more acid." Comment from retired veterinarian

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FOOD CONTAMINATION HAPPENS AT THE PROCESSORS AND PACKERS, NOT THE FARM!

American Foods recalls beef from seven states
 
By Bill McDowell on 11/26/2007 for Meatingplace.com

American Foods Group on Saturday announced a voluntary recall of nearly 96,000 pounds of ground beef due to possible E. coli contamination.

According to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, the recall was prompted by an investigation by the Illinois Department of Health, which was looking into two reports of illnesses.

The products from the Green Bay, Wisc., processor include 95,927 pounds of coarse and fine ground beef chuck, sirloin and chop beef. They were distributed to retailers and distributors in Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Virginia.

The products subject to recall were produced on Oct. 10. They were distributed for further processing and repackaging and will not have the company's establishment number on the package. Further, some of the recommended use-by dates have already expired, FSIS said.

The products include:

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF, FINE GROUND 73/27." Each shipping label bears a product code of "65000."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF, FINE GROUND 75/25." Each shipping label bears a product code of "65800."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF SIRLOIN, FINE GROUND 90/10." Each shipping label bears a product code of "66000."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF, FINE GROUND 80/20." Each shipping label bears a product code of "66400."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF, FINE GROUND 75/25." Each shipping label bears a product code of "19900."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF, FINE GROUND 73/27." Each shipping label bears a product code of "20100."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF CHUCK, FINE GROUND 82/18." Each shipping label bears a product code of "20600."

Bulk weight packages of "CHOP BEEF STEAK, FINE GRIND "86/14." Each shipping label bears a product code of "30000."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF SIRLOIN, FINE GROUND 92/08." Each shipping label bears a product code of "30400."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF ROUND, FINE GROUND 87/13." Each shipping label bears a product code of "30200."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF, FINE GROUND 80/20." Each shipping label bears a product code of "30700."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF CHUCK, FINE GROUND 82/18." Each shipping label bears a product code of "31400."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF, FINE GROUND 93/07." Each shipping label bears a product code of "31600."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF, FINE GROUND 73/27." Each shipping label bears a product code of "31700."

Bulk weight packages of "BEEF MODIFIED, FINE GROUND 93/07." Each shipping label bears a product code of "31900."
Each shipping label bears the establishment number "Est. 18076" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

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Is the meat you buy safe enough?

Posted: November 17, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

The food supply in the United States is, without a doubt, the safest in the world. But when 21 million pounds of ground beef – inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – is recalled because it contains E. coli 0157:H7, the question must be asked: Is the meat you buy safe enough?

The Topps Meat Company, a 67-year-old New Jersey firm, closed its doors Oct. 5, sending 87 employees to the unemployment line, because 21.7 million pounds of its product contained E. coli 0157:H7. This strain "produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness, kidney failure and even death," according to the USDA.

Every package of this contaminated meat contained a USDA inspection seal. Why did the USDA inspection fail to discover this contamination before it was shipped to stores across the nation?

On Nov. 3, Cargill Meat Solutions voluntarily recalled more than a million pounds of beef. Every package of the meat contained a USDA inspection seal. Why did the USDA inspection fail to discover this contamination before it was shipped to stores across the nation? Amanda Eamich, a spokeswoman for the USDA, said that some processing operations are inspected every 15 minutes, while others may be inspected once a month. Typically, there is at least one inspector on every shift.

Obviously, this inspection procedure is inadequate.

E. coli is a bacterium that lives in the intestines of animals. It can contaminate meat if the intestines are ruptured during processing. When contaminated meat is mixed with non-contaminated meat, as in the production of ground beef, the entire production run is contaminated. Why was the contamination of the Topps meat and the Cargill meat not discovered before the meat was packaged and shipped?

How can this inspection deficiency be corrected? Will it take more inspectors? Will it take new procedures? Whatever it takes, American consumers expect the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service to do whatever is necessary to assure that the meat that reaches the grocery store is safe.

In view of these two most recent recalls, it would seem that the USDA would be extremely embarrassed and working on a crash program to improve its food safety procedures. Apparently, the USDA has higher priorities.

There is far more interest and effort at the USDA to get every property where any one of 29 species of livestock animals reside registered into a federally controlled database. What does this effort have to do with preventing contamination in the meat processing plant?

While the USDA is spending $138 million – so far – trying to convince animal owners to tag every single livestock animal – including chickens, ducks, goats, cows, horses, alpacas, llamas and pot-bellied pigs – with a 15-digit RFID tag, E. coli-contaminated meat is passing under the noses of USDA inspectors and receiving the USDA seal of approval.

Had the animals that caused the recall of the meat products at Topps and Cargill been officially tagged with their 15-digit RFID tag and the property where they were raised officially recorded in a government database, it would not have prevented the contamination or the recall.

It may, however, have enabled the USDA to point a finger at a poor farmer somewhere, to say that the cow that caused the recall came from a particular farm – which, incidentally, is completely irrelevant. The contamination was caused because intestines were ruptured somewhere during the process, and the USDA inspectors failed to catch it.

By promoting the National Animal Identification System and neglecting the steps necessary to prevent food contamination in the processing plant, the USDA is focusing on the wrong problem.

Rather than try to build a massive computerized system to identify and trace the movement of more than a half-billion livestock animals in the United States, the USDA should focus only on those animals bound for the slaughterhouse. The USDA should concentrate only on the animals that are brought to a feedlot in preparation for slaughter. Here is where animals mingle, and here is where a disease is most likely to become apparent. Every animal in every feedlot should be inspected before it goes to slaughter. Every feedlot operator already knows the origin of every animal accepted. A massive database of registered properties and animals is completely unnecessary.

Every step in the processing operation should be monitored and inspected – much better than the current procedure that allowed millions of pounds of contaminated meat to be shipped. It matters not how safe the USDA system might be if you are among those who fall ill as the result of inadequate USDA inspection procedures. To these people, the system is obviously not safe enough.

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58732 

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FOOD CONTAMINATION OCCURS AT THE PROCESSORS, NOT THE FARMS!

1 Million Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled Over E. Coli Fears

Saturday, November 03, 2007

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,307877,00.html


WASHINGTON  —  The giant agribusiness company Cargill Inc. said Saturday it is recalling more than 1 million pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.

The ground beef was produced between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11 at Cargill Meat Solutions' plant in Wyalusing, Pa. and distributed to retailers across the country. They include Giant, Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and Weis.

Cargill learned the meat may be contaminated after the Agriculture Department found a problem with a sample of the beef produced on Oct. 8, the company said. The bacteria is E. coli O157:H7.

"No illnesses have been associated with this product," said John Keating, president of Cargill Regional Beef, said in a statement. "We are working closely with the USDA to remove this product from the marketplace."

E. coli is harbored in the intestines of cattle. Improper butchering and processing can cause the E. coli to get onto meat. Thorough cooking, to at least 160 degrees internal temperature, can destroy the bacteria.

E. coli 0157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and people with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to E. coli.

Cargill Meat Solutions, based in Wichita, Kan., is the umbrella organization of Cargill's beef, pork and turkey businesses.

The Wyalusing plant produces 200 million pounds of ground beef annually.

Cargill Inc., based in Wayzata, Minn., is one of the nation's largest privately held companies. It makes food ingredients, moves commodities around the world and runs financial commodities trading businesses.

Products that are being recalled:

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm 80/20 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—3.0-pound packages of "Century Farm 80/20 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1- pound packages of "Century Farm 80/20 Ground Beef Patty." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm 85/15 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—3-pound packages of "Century Farm 90/10 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm 90/10 Ground Beef Patties." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm 90/10 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm 93/7 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1-pound packages of "Century Farm 96/4 Extra Lean Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007 or 10/31/2007.

—1-pound packages of "Century Farm 85/15 Ground Beef Patties." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date 10/19/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm 93/7 Ground Beef Patties." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm 80/20 Chuck Ground Beef Patties." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm 80/20 Chuck Ground Beef for Chili." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007 or 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Century Farm Meatloaf Mix, Beef, Pork and Veal with Natural Flavors." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007, 10/22/2007, 10/31/2007 or 11/03/2007.

—1.25- pound packages of "Giant 75/25 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—3.0- pound packages of "Giant 75/25 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.25-pound packages of "Giant 80/20 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—3.0-pound packages of "Giant 80/20 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Giant Eagle Ground Chuck Beef Patties 80/20." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007 or10/22/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Giant Eagle Ground Beef Patties 92/8." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/22/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Giant Eagle Ground Beef Patties 85/15 - Certified Angus Beef Brand." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007 or 10/22/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Giant Eagle Ground Round Beef Patties 85/15." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007 or 10/22/2007.

—3.0-pound packages of "Shop Rite, 80% Lean 20% Fat, Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007 or 11/03/2007.

—3.0-pound packages of "Shop Rite, 85% Lean 15% Fat, Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007 or 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Shop Rite, 93% Lean 7% Fat, Ground Beef Patties." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Shop Rite, 93% Lean 7% Fat, Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1-pound packages of "Shop Rite, 96% Lean 4% Fat, Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.25- pound packages of "Stop & Shop 75/25 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007 or 11/03/2007.

—5.0- pound packages of "Stop & Shop 75/25 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.25-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 80/20 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007 or 11/03/2007.

—1.25-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 85/15 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.2-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 87/13 Ground Beef Sirloin, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1- pound packages of "Stop & Shop 90/10 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.0-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 80/20 Ground Beef Patties, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 80/20 Ground Beef Patties, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—2.6-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 80/20 Ground Beef Patties, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 90/10 Ground Beef Patties, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007 or 11/03/2007.

—2.5-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 90/10 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007.

—2.5-pound packages of "Stop & Shop 93/7 Ground Beef, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1-pound packages of "Wegmans 80/20 Ground Beef Patties." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Wegmans 90/10 Ground Beef Patties." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007 or 10/22/2007.

—3.0- pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats, 73/27 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1- pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats, 80/20 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—3- pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats, 80/20 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007 or 11/03/2007.

—1-pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats 85/15 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—2.0 and 3.0 -pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats 85/15 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—2-pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats 93/7 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1-pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats 93/7 Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1-pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats 96/4 Ground Beef Extra Lean." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats 90/10 Ground Beef Sirloin Patties." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats Meatloaf Mix, Beef, Pork and Veal with Natural Flavors." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Weis Premium Meats 80/20 Ground Beef for Chili." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Meat Loaf Mix, Made with Beef, Pork, Veal, with Natural Flavors." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007 or 10/22/2007.

—1.25-pound packages of "Meatloaf Mix, A Blend of Fresh Ground Beef, Pork & Veal, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—Various weight packages of "85/15 Coarse Ground Beef for Chili Meat, All Natural." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/2007.

—1.3-pound packages of "Ground Beef Chuck for Chili 80/20." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/19/2007 or 10/22/2007.

—1.3 pound packages of "Price Rite 85% Lean, 15% Fat Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3 pound packages of "Price Rite 80% Lean, 20% Fat Ground Beef." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 11/03/2007.

—1.3 pound packages of "Price Rite Meat loaf mix." Each package bears a Use by/freeze by date of 10/31/207 or 11/03/2007.

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http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Nov03/0,4670,BeefRecall,00.html

Saturday, November 03, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS —  Cargill Inc. said Saturday it was recalling more than 1 million pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, the second time in less than a month it has voluntarily recalled beef that may have been tainted.

No illnesses have been reported, said John Keating, president of Cargill Regional Beef.

The agribusiness giant produced the beef between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11 at a plant in Wyalusing, Pa., and distributed it to retailers across the country. They include Giant, Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and Weis.

Cargill learned the meat may be contaminated after the Agriculture Department found a problem with a sample of the beef produced on Oct. 8, the company said. The bacteria is E. coli O157:H7.

A spokeswoman for Cargill said 10 states are included in the recall _ Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

"We are working closely with the USDA to remove this product from the marketplace," Keating said in a statement. Spokeswoman Lori Fligge said the company had no further comment.

Amanda Eamich, a spokeswoman for the USDA Food and Safety Inspection Service, said her agency would work with Cargill to track about 1,084,384 pounds of beef that could be contaminated and remove it from store shelves.

"We do look in all directions to ensure that products that could be contaminated are not available to consumers," Eamich said.

On Oct. 6, Cargill voluntarily recalled more than 840,000 pounds of ground beef patties distributed at Sam's Club stores nationwide after four Minnesota children and four Wisconsin adults who ate the food developed E. coli illness, which is the same strain that was detected to prompt the latest recall.

A lawsuit is pending from that outbreak.

Eric and Jennifer Gustafson of Inver Grove Heights say their 4-year-old daughter, Callie, was hospitalized for about a week in September with an E. coli infection and has been permanently injured from the illness. Their 18-month-old son, Carson, also became ill and is still recovering, the lawsuit said.

In an unrelated case, U.S. regulators have tightened restrictions on meat and poultry products from Canada because of concerns about testing practices at a Canadian firm that was the likely source of bacteria-contaminated meat that sickened 40 people in eight states.

The Canadian firm, Rancher's Beef Ltd. of Balzac, Alberta, was linked in October to a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections involving Topps Meat Co. A massive recall, the second largest beef recall in U.S. history, forced the New Jersey-based Topps out of business. Rancher's Beef also ceased operations.

E. coli is harbored in the intestines of cattle. Improper butchering and processing can cause the E. coli to get onto meat. Thorough cooking, to at least 160 degrees internal temperature, can destroy the bacteria.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and people with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to E. coli.

People with questions about the recall are asked to call Cargill at 877-455-1034.

Cargill Meat Solutions, based in Wichita, Kan., is the umbrella organization of Cargill's beef, pork and turkey businesses.

The Wyalusing plant produces 200 million pounds of ground beef annually.

Cargill Inc., based in Wayzata, Minn., is one of the nation's largest privately held companies. It makes food ingredients, moves commodities around the world and runs financial commodities trading businesses.

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 THE PIZZAS WERE NOT CONTAMINATED FROM THE FARMS BUT FROM THE PROCESSORS!

5 Million Frozen Pizzas Recalled
Nov 1, 07 6:05 PM CDT | AP Online

General Mills on Thursday recalled about 5 million frozen pizzas sold Nationwide under the Totino's and Jeno's labels because of possible E. Coli
Contamination. The problem may have come from pepperoni on pizzas produced at a General Mills plant in Ohio, the suburban Minneapolis-based company said. It said the Pepperoni itself came from a separate supplier, not produced at the plant Itself, but it declined to release the name of the pepperoni distributor.

The voluntary recall covers pizzas containing pepperoni that have been
produced since July, when the first of 21 E. Coli illnesses under investigation by State and federal authorities emerged. Nine of the 21 people reported eating Totino's or Jeno's pizza with pepperoni topping at some point before becoming ill. The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention said that eight of the victims have been hospitalized, and four have developed a type of kidney failure. Eight of the cases were reported in Tennessee, with the other cases found in smaller numbers in Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin and South Dakota.

"We took action on that basis as a precaution, because of the possibility
that a link might exist," said General Mills spokesman Tom Forsythe. "However, to date we have found no E. Coli in our plant, and we have found no E. Coli in our products."

General Mills said it is cooperating fully with the investigation, which is
continuing. The company said it is not naming the pepperoni supplier because the source of the E. Coli is still under investigation. The company asks consumers to throw away recalled pizzas. They can get replacements by clipping the bar code from the box and mailing it with their name
and address to Totino's/Jeno's, P.O. Box 200 _ Pizza, Minneapolis, MN
55440-0200.

Symptoms of E. Coli can include stomach cramps and diarrhea. People typically are ill for two to five days but can develop complications including kidney failure. In late September, the Topps Meat Co. recalled 21.7 million pounds of frozen hamburger patties after 40 people in eight states got sick from contaminated beef believed to have been imported from Canada. The New Jersey-based company shut down several days later.
___
Eds: The specific products in the recall, with SKU, include:
Totino's Party Supreme, 42800-10700.
Totino's Three Meat, 42800-10800.
Totino's Pepperoni, 42800-11400.
Totino's Pepperoni, 42800-92114.
Totino's Classic Pepperoni, 42800-11402.
Totino's Pepperoni Trio, 42800-72157.
Totino's Party Combo, 42800-11600.
Totino's Combo, 42800-92116.
Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Supreme, 35300-00561.
Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Pepperoni, 35300-00572.
Jeno's Crisp 'n Tasty Combo, 35300-00576.

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THE PROCESSORS/PACKERS ARE WHERE THE CONTAMINANTS GET INTO YOUR FOOD, NOT FROM THE FARMERS!
Oct 15, 2007 8:27 pm US/Central

Lawsuits Filed Over E. Coli Cases In Beef

(AP) Minneapolis An Inver Grove Heights couple filed a lawsuit Monday against CARGILL MEAT SOLUTIONS CORP. after their children became ill from consuming E. coli-tainted beef patties that were part of a nationwide recall.

In the lawsuit filed in Dakota County, Eric and Jennifer Gustafson say their 4-year-old daughter, Callie, was hospitalized for about a week in September with an E. coli infection and has been permanently injured from the illness. Their 18-month-old son, Carson, also became ill and is still recovering, the lawsuit said.

Both children ate ground beef Sept. 7 at a barbecue. The meat had been purchased at Sam's Club in Eagan and was contaminated with E. coli, the lawsuit said.

Wayzata, Minn.-based CARGILL voluntarily recalled more than 840,000 pounds of patties sold by Sam's Club stores nationwide on Oct. 6 over concerns about E. coli infection.

A spokesman for CARGILL said the company would not comment on the lawsuit.

In a separate Minnesota case, the widower of a Cass County woman who died in August 2006 has filed a lawsuit Friday in Hennepin County against the companies that supplied beef that was the likely source of an E. coli outbreak.

State health officials have said that Carolyn Hawkinson, 73, was among 17 people in the Longville area who were sickened after eating at a church supper.

Stanton Hawkinson filed the lawsuit over his wife's death, saying she died of complications from E. coli infection. He's seeking unspecified monetary damages from the companies that manufactured, distributed and sold the beef: Nebraska Beef, Ltd.; Interstate Meat Services, Inc., also known as Falk Properties Inc.; and Tabaka's Super Valu.

Two couples also from the Longville area filed lawsuits Monday in Cass County over the same E. coli outbreak.

Gary Gordon, an attorney for Nebraska Beef, said many questions remain unanswered about the Longville E. coli case.

"For at least a couple of the claimants, there's a real question as to whether they even had E. coli," he said. "There's also a question as to WHERE THIS BEEF CAME FROM."

The plaintiffs in both E. coli cases are being represented by Marler Clark, a Seattle-based firm that handles many food-borne illness cases.
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THE DISEASE PROBLEMS ARE WITH THE PACKERS/PROCESSORS, NOT THE FARMERS!

Ground beef recalled on E. coli concerns
 
By Alicia Karapetian on 10/15/2007 for Meatingplace.com

Arko Veal Co., a Forest Park, Ga., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 1,900 pounds of ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced.

The product subject to recall includes:
50-pound cases of "BEEF PATTIES MIX," "80/20." Each case bears the establishment number "Est. 20766" inside the USDA mark of inspection and a product code of "502250." Each case bears a production date of "07-Oct-07," "08-Oct-07" or "09-Oct-07."The beef products were produced between Oct. 7 and Oct. 9, 2007, and were distributed to restaurants in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. There was no retail distribution of these products.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbiological testing. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

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IT'S THE PROCESSORS THAT'S THE PROBLEM, NOT THE FARMERS!  

Listeria concerns prompt recall of chicken and pasta product
 
By Ann Bagel Storck on 10/10/2007 for Meatingplace.com

Aliki Foods Inc. in Old Lyme, Conn., is voluntarily recalling approximately 70,400 pounds of a chicken and pasta product that may be contaminated with LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

Subject to recall are 5-lb. boxes containing two 2.5-lb. trays of "Aliki Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo Made with White Chicken." Each box bears the establishment number "Est. 219" inside the Canadian Food Inspection Agency mark of inspection, as well as a best if used by date of "SEPT 08" printed on the top of the box.

The product was produced on Sept. 28 and distributed to retail establishments in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbiological sampling at the import establishment.

FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product.

***********************************************************************************************************************************

THE PROCESSORS/PACKERS ARE THE PROBLEM, NOT THE FARMERS!

Health alert on some turkey, chicken pot pies: USDA

Tue Oct 9, 2007 6:23pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans should refrain from eating some turkey and chicken pot pies because they may be linked to reported cases of SALMONELLA, a food-borne illness, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday.

The USDA's public health alert applied to Banquet brand turkey and chicken pot pies and store-brand not-ready-to-eat pot pies with "P-9" printed on the side of the package, said USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

FSIS said it was investigating a Missouri establishment that voluntarily ceased operations on Tuesday "due to reported illnesses linked to their products." FSIS said it conferred over the weekend with public health officials, who said their work suggested a meat product was a potential source of contamination. FSIS sent investigators to the plant on Monday.

Consumers should not eat the turkey and chicken pot pies covered by the alert, said FSIS, until it determines the source, products and potential production dates of contamination and proper cooking instructions.

CON-AGRA FOODS INC. also advised against eating the products and offered a refund on them through the mail or retailers. ConAgra said it "believes the issue is likely related to consumer undercooking of the product."

Based in Omaha, Neb., CON-AGRA IS ONE OF THE LARGEST U.S. FOOD COMPANIES, sending products to grocers, restaurants and food service establishments. ConAgra brands include Healthy Choice, Chef Boyardee and Hebrew National.

In a news release, ConAgra said it was working with USDA "to identify any additional steps that may be appropriate, including potential changes that may further clarify cooking instructions for consumers."

It said it is revising its packages "to more clearly illustrate different cooking times for Banquet pot pies related to varying wattages of microwaves."

***********************************************************************************************************************************

READ THIS ARTICLE AND THEN THE EMAIL BELOW IT - IT'S A REAL EYE OPENER! PLEASE NOTE HOW IT IS BROUGHT OUT OVER AND OVER THAT IT IS THE KILL FLOORS WHERE E-COLI CONTAMINATION OCCURS, *NOT* AT THE FARM. HAVING NAIS EAR TAGS ON THE COWS WILL NOT STOP E-COLI IN YOUR BURGER!:

 http://www.axisoflogic.com/cgi-bin/exec/view.pl?archive=36&num=4248&printer=1

Meatpacking Maverick: Montana meatpacker John Munsell's against-the-odds struggle for improved food safety, Mother Jones Magazine, December 2003 Issue
By Michael Scherer
Dec 29, 2003, 12:13

Bad Meat made an activist out of John Munsell. Before the tainted beef arrived -- USDA-approved and vacuum-sealed -- at Montana Quality Foods, Munsell's family-run packing plant, this die-hard Republican had no reason to doubt the integrity of the food-safety system. But that changed after the meat he ground for hamburger tested positive for E. coli 0157:H7, a potentially deadly pathogen found in cattle feces that sickens thousands every year.

Instead of tracking the contaminated meat back to its source, the USDA launched an investigation of Munsell's own operation in Miles City, Montana. Never mind that the local federal inspector had seen the beef go straight from the package into a clean grinder -- a USDA spokesman called that testimony "hearsay." By February 2002, three more tests of meat Munsell was grinding straight from the package came back positive in USDA tests for E. coli. This time, as he would later testify in a government hearing, he had paperwork documenting that the beef came from a single source: CON-AGRA'S massive Greeley, Colorado, facility, which kills as many cows in three hours as Montana Quality Foods handles in a year.

Munsell fired off an angry email to the district USDA manager, warning of a potential public-health emergency, and adding that if no one tracked down the rest of the bad meat, "both of us should share a cell in Alcatraz." The agency moved immediately and aggressively -- not to recall meat from Greeley, but to shut down Munsell's grinding operation, a punishment that lasted four months.

Despite Munsell's continued whistleblowing -- to Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), national cattle associations, and his fellow meat processors -- the USDA FAILED TO ADDRESS THE ALLEGED CONTAMINATION AT CON-AGRA'S GREELY PLANT. Then, in July 2002, Munsell's worst fears came true. E. coli-tainted burger from Greeley killed an Ohio woman and sickened at least 35 others. ConAgra then recalled 19 million pounds of beef, one of the largest recalls in history. (As much as 80 percent of the meat had already been consumed.)

"I want the world to know what the real policies are," says Munsell, driving through Miles City, a ranching town on Montana's eastern plain where the casinos compete with saddle shops on Main Street and the men don't take their hats off for much. "The real policies imperil the consumer," he says. "The USDA doesn't want that out."

Lanky, with thinning sandy hair, the 57-year-old Munsell speaks in a measured voice that barely hints at the fury he feels. Though his battle with the USDA has crippled his business, Munsell is now on the offensive. After months of lobbying, he persuaded Senator Burns to convene a congressional hearing in Billings last December, where Munsell testified on the failings of USDA inspections. Munsell also convinced the Government Accountability Project (GAP) -- the nation's leading whistleblower organization -- to investigate the USDA's handling of his case. In July 2003, GAP released a major report titled "Shielding the Giant: USDA's 'Don't Look, Don't Know' Policy for Beef Inspection." "THE CON-AGRA-MUNSELL SCANDAL," it concluded, "PERPETUATES A LONG-STANDING USDA PATTERN TO BLAME THE MESSENGER AND SCAPEGOAT THE VICTIMS, RATHER THAN STAND BEHIND ITS SEAL OF WHOLESOMENESS."

Why would the USDA willfully ignore a whistleblower and stand by as feces-tainted meat entered grocery stores? Two decades of federal reforms have left more and more regulation in the hands of the meat industry itself. "AGRIBUSINESS RUNS THE SHOW" AT THE USDA, says Tony Corbo, a food-safety lobbyist with the watchdog group Public Citizen.

IN 1998 THE USDA STOPPED TESTING FOR E. COLI AT THE COMPANY'S GREELEY FACILITY, saying internal safeguards were sufficient. While tests continued at small plants like Munsell's, the USDA ALLOWED BIG PACKERS TO CONDUCT THEIR OWN IN-HOUSE TESTS. Indeed, according to the congressional investigation of the ConAgra recall initiated by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), 33 IN-HOUSE TESTS CONDUCTED AT CON-AGRA'S GREELEY FACILITY IN THE MONTH BEFORE THE RECALL CAME BACK POSITIVE FOR E.COLI CONTAMINATION. CON-AGRA FAILED TO ALERT THE USDA. In a scathing letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman this spring, Waxman wrote that the USDA's policy of industry self-regulation "appears grossly inadequate to protect the public health."

Munsell has steadily been winning allies in his fight for reform. "This guy is the small businessman. He's done everything right," says Brad Keena, a spokesman for Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who has followed Munsell's case closely. "But BECAUSE HE'S THE MIDDLEMAN, HIS REPUTATION GETS GROUND INTO THE PROBLEM OF THE LARGER COMPANY." (Swift & Co., which boughtConAgra's meatpacking operations last year, insists there is no conclusive evidence that the Greeley plant was responsible for Munsell's bad meat.)

To this day, the USDA maintains that it followed all of its own policies in regard to ConAgra and boasts of new safeguards that were put into place after the recall. USDA spokesman Steve Cohen also argues that Munsell never proved the source of the initial E. coli contamination and suggests that he "got a good deal" on the ConAgra meat. Munsell isn't rattled by such accusations. "He is simply grasping at straws," he says.

The negative publicity from the USDA's shutdown of his plant has proved fatal to business. This summer, Munsell put his operation up for sale, foretelling the end of a business that his father -- who, at the age of 84, still serves breakfast to the crew -- founded in 1946. But Munsell has no regrets. What haunts him is not his decision to go public, he says, but the fact that he almost decided to stay quiet, just to protect his own livelihood. "You know what it comes down to?" says the third-generation meatpacker, his steady composure beginning to crack. "My grandkids. THE USDA COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE HEALTH OF MY GRANDKIDS."

 

 

This is an Oct. 2007 email from John Munsell - an American Hero - He sent it to the National Meat Assocation:

I enjoyed your "It's not a perfect world" article about the untimely recall at Topps, and your related comments on E.coli. You are precisely correct that the industry has implemented a wide variety of intervention steps, at great cost, which have undoubtedly reduced the incidence of e.coli found in commerce. Up until this year's multiple revelations, our industry has popped its chest with well-deserved pride.

Elsa Murano was right on the money when she mentioned years ago that "There is no such thing as risk-free raw meat". Never a truer word said. A close review of annual letters of certification provided by the large slaughter operations state the same fact when they make statements such as:

"Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation believes our food safety program sets the standard for the industry, but at
the same time, neither we, nor for that matter, anyone is able to guarantee pathogen free raw materials.
Accordingly, we want to reiterate the importance of proper handling and cooking of all raw meat products by
you and your customers".

Without delving through my historical records, I received other certifications back in 2002 - 2005 which stated things like "There are no silver bullets which can guarantee products to be free of pathogens". These statements are valid, blunt but erudite, and don't attempt to hide the truth about raw meat. No slaughter plant can provide blanket guarantees, because risk-free raw meat is an utter impossibility.

So, what should FSIS do in those infrequent events when contaminated meat is detected, and/or outbreaks occur? Unfortunately for our industry, 2007 has been an ugly year for e.coli recalls. Why has this uptick occurred, realizing that in all past recalls FSIS aggressively required the grinding plant to implement corrective actions to prevent recurrences?

First, we must acknowledge that E.coli is an "enteric" bacteria, which by definition means that it emanates from within animals' intestines, and by extension, is found on manure-covered hides as your article today stated. Herein lies the problem. Topps Meat Co and Impero Foods & Meats, both of which experienced e.coli recalls this last week, DO NOT SLAUGHTER! Nevertheless, the OPEER branch of FSIS will allocate exclusive responsibility for these two recalls at the downline, further processing (non-slaughter) plants where even Scotland Yards could detect no intestines or manure-covered hides. Why do I make that bold accusation? Because of historical precedent! Please recall other sizeable recalls this year:

Hoss's Fresh Xpress
Davis Creek Meat & Seafood
Richwood Meat Co
United Food Group
Abbott's Meat

Lauron, one common thread weaves through the tapestry of the unfortunate recalls at all these plants, which is the fact that NONE OF THESE PLANTS SLAUGHTER. A close review of recalls this entire century quickly reveals that the majority of e.coli recalls have emanated at non-slaughter facilities. The conundrum is obvious: FSIS mandates that these downline, further processing non-slaughter plants implement corrective actions to prevent recurrences. Now how in the dickens can a further processing plant allegedly concoct corrective actions which will prevent future purchases of previously contaminated meat? Mission impossible. Notwithstanding this fact, FSIS IS COMFORTABLE ASSESSING ALL LIABILITY AGAINST THESE VICTIMIZED DOWNSTREAM PLANTS, WHILE INSULATING THE ORIGINATING SOURCE SLAUGHTER PLANTS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY. To my knowledge, the agency's vaunted STEPS system HAS YET TO FORCE A RECALL AT EVEN ONE NONCOMPLIANT SOURCE SLAUGHTER PLANT.

It is no wonder that 2007 has experienced so many E.coli recalls, realizing that FSIS has effectively insulated the truly non-compliant source slaughter plants from implementing effective corrective actions. As long as this debacle continues, multiple sizeable recalls are virtually guaranteed. That's a sure bet.

A heads up for you: management at Impero Foods & Meats (Recall # 041-2007 for 65 lbs meat) state that their recall occurred by grinding single source material, and that evidence of such has been presented to FSIS. WILL FSIS BE WILLING TO PERFORM A TRACEBACK TO THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE ORIGIN OF THE HOT MEAT? DON'T BET ON IT. The agency is much more comfortable bringing enforcement actions against hapless small plants such as Impero, RATHER THAN DISPLAYING THE BOLD COURAGE REQUIRED TO CONFRONT THE MULTI-NATIONAL BEHEMOTHS WHICH ENJOY POLITICAL CONNECTIONS AND THE ECONOMIC LARGESSE REQUIRED TO ENGAGE THE AGENCY IN PROTRACTED LITIGATION.

The most imperfect portion of the imperfect world to which you refer is readily seen in FSIS UNWILLINGNESS TO REQUIRE CORRECTIVE ACTION AT THE TRUE ORIGIN OF CONTAMINATION. How many times do we have to reinvent this wheel?

Common sense changes in agency and industry-conducted microbial sampling protocol would dramatically help in the expedited and scientific determination of the true source of e.coli contamination. However, it has been argued that such changes are "against the very heart of HACCP". Absolutely true! HACCP has created artificial restrictions which prevent FSIS from participating in meaningful oversight of slaughter houses. The agency publicly stated in the mid-90's that its role under HACCP would be "Hands Off", and we beleagured plant owners swallowed this delectable morsel hook, line and sinker. None more than me. Why should we be surprised now that this deregulated style of meat non-inspection has produced an increased number and tonnage in recalls this year? Egads, in less than one century the spirit of the Federal Meat Inspection Act has been emasculated.

John W. Munsell, Manager
Foundation for Accountability in Regulatory Enforcement (FARE)
Miles City, MT

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THE E-COLI DIDN'T GET INTO THE BURGER FROM THE FARMS, IT'S THE PROCESSORS/PACKERS THAT ARE THE PLACES OF CONTAMINATION!

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071005/ap_on_bi_ge/meat_recall

By JEFFREY GOLD, AP Business Writer 

NEWARK, N.J. - Topps Meat Co. on Friday said it was closing its business, six days after it was forced to issue the second-largest beef recall in U.S. history and 67 years after it first opened its doors.

The decision will cost 87 people their jobs, Topps said.

On Sept. 25 Topps began recalling frozen hamburger patties that may have been contaminated with the potentially fatal E. coli bacteria strain O157:H7. The recall eventually ballooned to 21.7 million pounds of ground beef.

Thirty people in eight states had E. coli infections matching the strain found in the Topps patties, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. None have died.

"This is tragic for all concerned," said Topps chief operating officer Anthony D'Urso, a member of the family that founded the company in 1940.

The Topps recall raised questions about whether the U.S. Agriculture Department should have acted quicker to encourage a recall. On Thursday, top USDA officials said they would speed warnings in the future.

Topps conceded that much of the recalled meat had already been eaten, and on Friday expressed regret that its product had been linked to illnesses. "We hope and pray for the full recovery of those individuals," D'Urso said in a statement.

Topps, which halted production Sept. 26, is not the first meat company shuttered by a recall. Hudson Foods Co. closed its plant in Columbus, Neb., after it agreed in 1997 to destroy 25 million pounds of hamburger in the largest U.S. meat recall after E. coli was found in the ground beef. The plant later reopened with new owners.

Topps faces at least two lawsuits filed since the recall, one from the family of an upstate New York girl who became ill, and one seeking class-action status on behalf of all people who bought or ate the hamburgers. The family of a Florida girl who suffered kidney failure sued Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is among chains that sold Topps patties.

The closing, or any subsequent bankruptcy, does not derail the lawsuits, said William D. Marler, a lawyer for the family of 8-year-old Emily McDonald, of North Colonie, N.Y. She was hospitalized for two days after eating a hamburger Aug. 17 at a barbecue.

"Bankruptcy will slow the process down, but it does not mean that people will not be compensated," Marler said.

The Elizabeth-based company had initially recalled 331,582 pounds of its frozen hamburgers on Sept. 25, acting only after the New York State Department of Health issued an alert linking its patties to illnesses.

Topps on Sept. 29 recalled 21.7 million pounds of its frozen hamburgers — a year's worth of production — after further evidence from the New York State Department of Health indicated a wider problem.

D'Urso said that a few employees will remain at the site to help USDA scientists investigate the source of the E. coli outbreak.

The bacteria, which can be fatal to humans, is harbored in the intestines of cattle and can also get on their hides. IMPROPER BUTCHERING AND PROCESSING CAN CAUSE E.COLI TO GET ONTO MEAT.

THOROUGH COOKING, TO AT LEAST 160 DEGREES INTERNAL TEMPERATURE, CAN DESTROY THE BACTERIA.

Topps gets beef parts from slaughterhouses, grinds them, forms the meat into patties and freezes them.

Privately held Topps, which claimed to be the leading U.S. maker of frozen hamburger patties, said it sells its products to supermarkets and institutions such as schools, hospitals, restaurants and hotels.

The CDC reported the number of linked cases in these states: Connecticut, 2; Florida, 1; Indiana, 1; Maine, 1; New Jersey, 7; New York, 9; Ohio, 1; and Pennsylvania, 8.

The recall represents all Topps hamburger products with either a "sell by date" or a "best if used by date" between Sept. 25, 2007 and Sept. 25, 2008. All recalled products also have the USDA establishment number EST 9748, which is on the back panel of the package or in the USDA legend. A full list of the recalled products is available at http://www.toppsmeat.com.

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KEEP NOTICING THAT WALMART/CARGILL/TYSON/CON-AGRA/ETC. CONNECTION...THEY ARE THE COMPANIES PUSHING FOR THE NAIS. ALSO NOTICE THAT THIS E. COLI INFECTION HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH FARMERS AND THEIR CATTLE. AGAIN, IT IS THE *PROCESSORS* THAT ARE THE PROBLEM WHILE FARMERS ARE DEMONIZED AND BLAMED!

http://www.adn.com/24hour/nation/story/3713901p-13151326c.html

Sam's Club beef recalled after illnesses

 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Sam's Club warehouse chain pulled a brand of ground beef patties from its shelves nationwide after four children who ate the food, produced by CARGILL INC., developed E. Coli illness, company and health officials said Friday.

 

CARGILL has also asked customers to return any remaining patties purchased after Aug. 26 to the store or destroy them.

The children became ill between Sept. 10 and Sept. 20 after eating ground beef patties that were bought frozen under the name American Chef's Selection Angus Beef Patties from three SAM'S CLUB stores in the Twin Cities area.

SAM'S CLUB voluntarily removed the product from its stores nationwide after the illnesses were reported, the company said.

"We can't be certain that meat from other stores is not involved, since the brand ... Was likely sold at other Sam's Club locations," said Heidi Kassenborg, acting director of the dairy and food inspection division of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The patties were produced by CARGILL and had an expiration date of Feb. 12, 2008, SAM'S CLUB said in a statement. They were coded UPC 0002874907056 Item #700141.

A CARGILL spokesman contacted by The Associated Press said the company would have no comment until Monday.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is working with the federal Agriculture Department to determine the source of the contamination.

Two of the children were hospitalized; one remains in the hospital and the other has been discharged, the Health Department said.

Symptoms of E. Coli illness include stomach cramps and diarrhea. People typically are ill for two to five days but can develop complications including kidney failure. People who have developed such symptoms should contact their doctor, the Health Department said.

SAM'S CLUB warehouse is owned by WAL-MART STORES INC., the world's largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark.

CARGILL, based in Wayzata, Minn., is one of the nation's LARGEST PRIVATELY HELD COMPANIES and makes food ingredients, moves commodities around the world and runs financial commodities trading businesses

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Food Safety
E. coli concerns prompt another ground beef recall
 
By
Janie Gabbett on 10/1/2007 for Meatingplace.com

Baltimore-based Impero Foods & Meats Inc. is voluntarily recalling approximately 65 pounds of ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, FSIS has announced.

The products subject to recall include: 10- and 15-pound shrink-wrapped bags of "IMPERO FOODS & MEAT INC. GROUND BEEF." Each label bears the establishment number "Est. 10827" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The ground beef products were produced on Sept. 25, and were distributed to restaurants in Maryland.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS microbiological sampling. FSIS has not received any reports of illness.
 

SEPT. 30, 2007 
Subject: Meat RECALL Alert - 21.7 million pounds of beef recalled- Hamburger Patties

21.7 million pounds of beef recalled

  • Story Highlights
  • Topps Meat Co. hamburger patties may contain E. coli bacteria
  • New Jersey plant's grinding operation shut down
  • As many as 25 cases of illness recorded in 8 states
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Topps Meat Co. on Saturday expanded a recall of ground beef from about 300,000 pounds to 21.7 million pounds, one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history.
art.hamburgers.gi.jpg

The recalled products are all ground beef patties with various brand names.

In a statement, the Elizabeth, New Jersey, company said the hamburger patties may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, a bacterium that can cause severe diarrhea and cramps, as well as other complications.

A statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said 25 illnesses are under investigation in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The ground beef products being recalled have a "sell by date" or a "best if used by date" between September 25, 2007, and September 25, 2008, Topps' statement said. Video Watch the latest on the beef recall »

The packages also have the marking "Est. 9748" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Tuesday, the company announced a recall of about 331,000 pounds of hamburger meat, according to the USDA.

"Because the health and safety of our consumers is our top priority, we are taking these expansive measures," said Vice President of Operations Geoffrey Livermore in the statement.

"Topps is continuing to work with the USDA, state departments of health, retailers and distributors to ensure the safety of our consumers. Additionally, we have augmented our internal quality control procedures with microbiologists and food safety experts. We sincerely regret any inconvenience and concerns this may cause our consumers," Livermore said.

This is the company's first recall in its 65 years of business, the statement said.

Consumers who find the products at home are asked to cut off the UPC code and return it to Topps for a full refund, then dispose of the product immediately, Topps spokeswoman Michelle Williams said.

The company said to avoid E. coli, consumers should wash hands thoroughly after handling the beef.

Topps set up a toll-free recall help line at (888) 734-0451.

Williams said because the products may have been produced up to a year ago, many of them have already been safely consumed.

Production in the ground beef area of the company's plant in Elizabeth has been shut down until all the investigations are complete, Williams said in a phone interview.

"We're working with the USDA and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and conducting our own investigation," she added.

The products, all ground beef patties and hamburgers with various brand names, were distributed mainly in the northeastern United States, but went to retailers in many other areas of the country as well, Williams said.

While the sheer size of the recall is large, two other companies have been involved in larger recalls.

In 2002, Pilgrim's Pride recalled more than 27 million pounds of poultry, and Hudson Foods recalled 25 million pounds of ground beef in 1997. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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E-COLI GETS INTO YOUR FOOD AT THE PROCESSOR, NOT FROM THE FARM!