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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

California Firm Recalls Frozen Meat Patties over E. coli Contamination

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a recall by the California-based Valley Meat Company. The recall comes after ground beef produced by the company were linked to seven cases of E. coli illness by the California Department of Public Health. The cases were united by a rare strain of E. coli, and occurred between February and July of 2010. The recall affects approximately one million pounds of frozen ground beef patties and bulk ground beef. A complete list of recalled products can be found on the FSIS website or on the Valley Meat Company website.

E. coli is a potentially lethal foodborne bacterium. It can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney failure. The FSIS website does not discuss the extent of contamination, but it does note that the beef was distributed to foodservice providers in California, Texas, Oregon, Arizona, and internationally. Because many of the products were distributed frozen, there is concern that some of it may still be present in consumers' freezers. If you have some of the product, the USDA recommends that it be discarded immediately. Valley Meat Company is offering a full refund if the meat is returned to its place of purchase.

Although E. coli is dangerous, illness can be prevented by cooking all meat to an internal temperature of at least 160º F, which kills the bacteria. Prevent cross-contamination by keeping cooked and raw meat separate and washing hands and all food preparation surfaces before and after contact with raw meat.

If you or a loves one has been sickened by this or another contaminated food product, you may be able to receive compensation for your injury. To learn more, please call or email the Los Angeles office of The Cochran Firm today for a free case evaluation.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 9:35 AM

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