Published Date: 2003-07-01 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli O157, frozen steaks - USA (Midwest): recall
Archive Number: 20030701.1617
E. COLI O157, FROZEN STEAKS - USA (MIDWEST): RECALL
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 30 Jun 2003
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy, Univ.
Frozen steaks recalled in _E coli_ outbreak investigation
Stampede Meat, Inc., Chicago, is recalling about 739 000 pounds of frozen
beef products because of a possible link to 5 _Escherichia coli_ O157:H7
infections in Minnesota, Kansas, and Michigan, the US Department of
Agriculture announced yesterday, 29 Jun 2003.
The products being recalled were produced between 17 and 22 Mar 2003 and
bear the establishment code "EST. 19113" inside the USDA mark of
inspection, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a
The products, mostly vacuum-packaged steaks, were distributed to
restaurants, institutions, and retail stores nationwide and also sold to
consumers door-to-door, the FSIS said.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced 27 Jun 2003 it was
investigating 4 cases of _E coli_ O157:H7 infection that may be associated
with eating frozen steaks sold by door-to-door vendors. The cause of the
outbreak has not been confirmed, but the department was investigating
frozen steaks sold by Farmers Pride Meat Co. under the name "Home Chef's
Selections," officials said. The products were produced by Stampede Meats
of Chicago, MDH spokesman Doug Schultz told CIDRAP News today. Farmers
Pride has Minnesota offices in Blaine and Duluth, he said.
The people became ill between 27 May and 18 Jun 2003, the MDH said. They
include adults in St. Louis, Carlton, and Hennepin counties and a child in
Washington County. One adult was hospitalized with the illness.
"Steaks are usually not a high-risk source of _E coli_," said Kirk Smith,
supervisor of MDH's foodborne illness investigation team, in a news
release. "_E coli_ bacteria usually exist on the outside of steak, so
searing usually kills it. However, these specific products are injected
with tenderizers and flavor-enhancing solutions, and that process may
transfer the bacteria to the inside of the steak. If it is not cooked
thoroughly, the _E coli_ can survive and cause illness."
The products implicated in the Minnesota investigation include
bacon-wrapped fillets with a production date of 3-19-03 on the label, the
MDH said. Smith said it is not known how widely the products were distributed.
Consumers with questions about the Stampede Meats recall may contact Bill
Asleson, company executive manager, at 800-353-0933, the FSIS said.
FSIS news release:
[This news release includes the potentially contaminated product list - Mod.LL]
Minnesota Department of Health news release
[It is remarkable that the suspected vehicle in this outbreak/recall is
steak and not ground beef. As noted in the posting, the bacteria
associated with the steak are usually external, meaning that the pathogen
would be killed by heat, which would not inactivate internal
bacteria. Since the meat was injected with tenderizers or
flavor-enhancers, the _E. coli_ could be inoculated internally. This
technique to fool Mother Nature once again may produce more collective harm
than individual good. As ProMED-mail has stressed before, proper kitchen
hygiene and appropriate cooking will "tame the savage beast." - Mod.LL]