Topps Meat Co. has expanded its initial meat recall from 332,000 pounds of ground beef products to 21.7 million pounds. This is one of the largest meat recalls to ever take place in the United States.
The meat company says that the meat being recalled may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7, a bacteria that can cause cramps, diarrhea, and other health problems. The U.S. Department of Investigation says it is so far investigating 25 reported illnesses that could be related to the Topps meat products.
Products being recalled include ground beef meat with a “best if used by date” or “sell by date” ranging between 09/25/07 to 09/25/08. The marking “Est. 9748” accompanies the meats’ USDA inspection mark.
Topps says it is working with state departments of health, the USDA, distributors, and retailers to ensure that consumers are safe and protected. The company also says that it is now involving food safety experts and microbiologists in the company’s quality control procedures. It is Topps first recall in its 65 years of business.
E. coli 0157:H7 infection can lead to abdominal cramps bloody diarrhea, non-bloody diarrhea, and fever. With children and older people, E. coli 0157:H7 can sometimes lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can lead to kidney failure.
Food manufacturers, processors, sellers, distributors, and restaurants are legally obligated to produce, process, or serve foods that will not make a consumer ill. Food products must be free from contamination and-if prepared at a restaurant or grocery store-they must be properly prepared so that a person does not get sick or die from eating the food.
Failure to uphold these food standards can be grounds for a products liability claim or lawsuit against all negligent parties if injuries or deaths occur.
21.7 million pounds of meat recalled, CNN.com, September 29, 2007
Topps expands beef recall, CNN.com, September 29, 2007
Topps Meat Company LLC Expands Ground Beef Recall To Help Ensure Consumer Safety, Toppsmeat.com, September 29, 2007
Related Web Resources:
Escherichia coli O157:H7, CDC.gov
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