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Public Health Alert Expanded for Canadian Beef

Recently, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service expanded a previously issued alert for all beef produced on specific dates in August and September from Canadian XL Foods, Inc. This beef was imported into the U.S. to be sold in stores across the nation including Kroger and Wal-Mart stores throughout Georgia. The beef is possibly contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The alert includes ALL XL Foods, Inc. beef and beef products produced on August 24, 27, 28, 29, and September 5. Authorities are cautioning that all beef products from XL Foods, Inc. produced on those dates should be destroyed or returned to the store where they were purchased as they are not safe to eat.

The beef products include steak, roast, ground beef, and mechanically tenderized steaks and roasts. The FSIS issued the alert after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency discovered that the beef slaughtered from cattle on these dates produced higher than usual positive E. coli O157:H7 findings. The CFIA initiated a recall in Canada, and the FSIS is working in the United States to alert consumers to the dangerous contaminated meat.

Beef from XL Foods, Inc. was sold in Kroger and Wal-Mart stores throughout Georgia as well as the rest of the United States. The meat was sold at 18 Wal-Mart stores in Georgia cities including Savannah. Originally, it was reported that 890,000 pounds of boneless beef trim was received in the U.S. from XL Foods. Now, it is estimated that it was actually 1.1 million pounds of boneless beef trim, and 1.4 million pounds of sub-primal cuts used to make tenderized steaks and roasts.

E. coli, short for Escherichia coli, is a dangerous food borne illness. It can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. While most people get better within five to seven days after first experiencing symptoms, some cases of E. coli contamination can lead to serious illness including kidney failure. The very young, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to serious illness from E. coli infection.

To prevent illness when preparing raw meat, all ground beef must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Preparers should wash their hands with hot water and soap before and after handling raw meat. Cutting boards and utensils should be immediately washed as well. Raw meat should be kept separate from other foods, especially food that isn’t going to be cooked. Raw meat should be refrigerated within two hours of purchase, and cooked meat should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking.

If you have purchased beef products imported from Canadian XL Foods, Inc. that were produced on any of the dates mentioned above, you may have purchased a contaminated product that is not safe for consumption. For more information, check the retail list of stores where the product was sold:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/PHA092012_Retail_List.pdf

Read more information about the health alert on the FSIS website here:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_092812_01/index.asp

If you or family member has been sickened by a foodborne illness, call Ty Wilson at 1-888-689-5224 for a review your claim. Also, check out Ty’s article Food Poisoning Cases – Is Class Action Right for You?

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