There’s a pretty nasty e. coli outbreak going on in Michigan and Illinois — apparently “industrial” sized bags of lettuce from a Michigan company called “Aunt Mids” have been contaminated. Among those affected were students at Michigan State and the University of Michigan and some inmates at Lenawee County Jail. [Michigan Department Of Community Health & Progressive Grocer] (Thanks, Alex!)
For the first time ever, the FDA is going to allow manufacturers to irradiate produce at levels that can kill bacteria that causes food-borne illness, says the New York Times. The produce in question, spinach and iceberg lettuce, have, in recent years, been linked to widespread outbreaks of serious illnesses.
Whole Foods apparently never got that June memo to chuck Nebraska Beef contaminated with E. coli. The posh-man’s bodega announced yesterday that they are recalling the previously-recalled beef, which Whole Foods sold between June 2 and August 6. The contaminated beef has popped up in 24 states and sickened 49 people. Noted food safety litigator Bill Marler shows us that being a lawyer can be fun by posing six amusingly litigious questions for Whole Foods…
If you like spinach you might not want to read a new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called “FDA and Fresh Spinach Safety.”
The meat and poultry industries have learned that if you poison your customers enough times, they’ll eventually start losing trust in you—although, oddly, they won’t change their purchasing habits. That’s the takeaway from a study carried out by Meatingplace.com (snicker) and “its sister publication POULTRY” (ha ha WHERE’S CHRIS HANSON). However, no description of the study is provided other than that Zoomerang.com was used, so we’re not sure if the results are at all meaningful. We’re just glad the meat industry is starting to notice something’s wrong.
Meat processed by American Foods Group of Green Bay, WI has been recalled following an investigation by the Illinois Department of Health. The meat was sold in bulk quantities to retailers and distributors and may not be easily identifiable to consumers, says the USDA:
The products subject to recall were distributed for further processing and repackaging and will not bear the recalling firm’s establishment number on the package. As the use-by date for products subject to this recall may have expired, consumers can contact their retailers to ask if they received any of these products and if so, consumers are urged to look in their freezers for these products and return or discard them if found.
Here’s the perfect gift for your favorite little Consumerist reader! A giant stuffed e. coli bacterium.
It’s legal for meat companies to sell meat with food-poisoning bacterium E. coli on it, as long it’s labeled “cook-only.” The result, say anonymous USDA inspectors speaking with the Chicago Tribune, is higher levels of E. coli are tolerated in the plants.
Agribusiness monster Cargill is recalling 1 million pounds of beef that may be contaminated with E. coli. The potentially tainted meat was butchered between October 8 and October 11 at the “Cargill Meat Solutions” slaughterhouse in Wyalusing, PA. According to Cargill, there have been no reports of illness. After the jump, the long list of recalled products.
Yesterday the USDA recalled several types of both Totino’s and Jeno’s meat pizzas because they are tainted with e. coli. E. coli bacteria is not destroyed by freezing, so you’ll want to avoid eating these pizzas. The USDA considers this a Class I recall, which is defined as “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”
28 people in 8 states have fallen ill due to e. coli exposure from Topps frozen hamburgers and now a class action lawsuit has been filed against the meat processor and several grocery stores who sold the product. 10 people have been hospitalized. One has hemolytic-uremic syndrome, which causes kidney failure.
This summer, almost 6 million pounds of beef were recalled due to E. coli contamination. Last week, almost 22 million pounds of frozen hamburger meat were recalled after reports surfaced of E. coli infections. It was the biggest meat recall in 10 years, and “the American Meat Institute (AMI) says it noticed a slight rise in positive E. coli tests by the government this summer,” says a USA Today article. In fact, 2007 is the first time in 3 years that the rate of positive USDA sample-tests have gone up. At the same time, the Chicago Tribune reports that in July, a congressman from Minnesota slipped a special measure into the 2007 farm bill that would reduce the need for federal inspections for small meat producers.
6 people have fallen ill due to e. coli contaminated frozen hamburger, according to the Associated Press. Three of the illnesses required hospitalization.
Dole is recalling bagged lettuce tainted with e. coli today, so you’ll want to check your fridge lest you develop bloody diarrhea.
A woman has filed a lawsuit after ground beef made by Tyson and sold by Walmart put her in the hospital for 3 weeks, she says. From KOTV:
Melinda Pierce says she bought some Tyson hamburger meat at the Muskogee Wal-Mart on June 4th and made enchiladas with it two days later.
Catching up on our Netflix pile, we watched Fast Food Nation last night. This is our movie review: read the book.
5.7 million pounds of beef distributed by United Food Group may be infected with E. coli. The beef bears sell-by dates from April 6-April 20; though the beef won’t be found on supermarket shelves, it might still be in your freezer.
The recalled products were shipped to stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. They were sold under the brand names Moran’s All Natural, Miller Meat Company, Stater Bros., Trader Joe’s Butcher Shop, Inter-American Products Inc. and Basha’s.
PM Beef Holdings is recalling 117,500 pounds of beef that may be tainted with E. coli. The tainted beef has already landed three Minnesotans in the hospital, and now threatens residents in eight states.
“Because these products later became ground beef sold under many different retail brand names, consumers should check with their local retailer to determine whether they may have purchased any of the products subject to recall,” the USDA said.
The USDA is working overtime to figure out who received the tainted beef, which was prepared on March 27. The beef has already been traced to Minnesota, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. To thwart E. coli, heat your meat to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER