Thursday, December 30, 2010


It has been a fairly quiet year for ground beef recalls. So I suppose it was time for one more before the end of 2010. The recalled product is "organic" ground beef - which we would like to think is a little better. This time it isn't.

The recalling firm is based in California. It has one of those quality-sounding names that are common in the food business - "First Class Foods, Inc." Unfortunately, first class or not, it is in trouble. Over the years several companies have folded because of E.coli 0157 in their ground meat. Recalls are very costly. And we may be in trouble too if we eat that meat undercooked. As we all know, ground meat is the most risky of all fresh meat products, because of the way it is made. E.coli 0147 can give you bloody diarrhea, and dehydration. In most severe cases, kidney failure can occur. No fun. Most likely to become seriously ill are young children, seniors and anyone with a weak immune system.

By the way, this is the fifth case in 2010 (12 mos.) of E.coli 0147 that testing has turned up in widely sold U.S. ground beef or raw beef products (such as raw patties, burgers). Plus two more in meat that would probably have been ground at the retailers, as it often is.

Here are the facts:

- Products were sent to retail establishments in Calif., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Wis., and Wash. State.

- The ones being recalled are:

---16-oz. packages of "NATURE'S HARVEST ORGANIC GROUND BEEF BRICK" sold singly with one of the following "USE or FREEZE by" dates: "12/30/10" or "01/08/11."
---16-oz. packages of "ORGANIC HARVEST ORGANIC GROUND BEEF BRICK" sold singly and in three-packs with one of the following "USE or FREEZE by" dates: "12/28/10" or "01/06/11."
---16-oz. packages of NATURE'S HARVEST GROUND PATTY" containing four (4) 4-oz. patties with the following "USE or FREEZE by" date: "12/30/10" or "01/08/11."
--- Each package label has the establishment number "EST. 18895"

If you have questions, you can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline (1-888-MPHOTLINE) or Lucienne Adams -(310) 676-2500 at the recalling company. That is, if they are answering.

Remember, in many recalls, additional products and additional companies are added later, so you may want to be even more cautious. That is, if you don't want a bad start to 2011.

Cook those burgers well!


Anonymous said...

So much for truth in advertising. The general feeling is that "organic" means safe. I guess not.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I guess so. Verify before eating.