Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yet another reason to shun commercially processed meats

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003_2011_labels.pdf (62 KB)
The recall announced in the news release from the Department of Agriculture below may be a low health risk, but it shows how easily someone with impure intentions can introduce products of questionable quality into the U.S. food chain. In this case, a company that makes bulk supplies of frozen pre-formed hamburger patties was found to have repackaged meat that had been returned. The problem was discovered after institutions that had received some of the bad meat complained about off-odors and discoloration. More details below or at www.fsis.usda.gov.

Personally, I'm going to stick to buying meat directly from farmers or from a local butcher I can trust. In the San Francisco area, my favorite is Woodland's Market in Kentfield, whose owner has been in the meat business most of his life. John can tell you everything you might want to know about any of the meats in his store. In San Francisco, Dave the Butcher at the Marina Market, Avedano's, and Prather Ranch are good picks. Also, Marin Sun Farms meats are sold at farmers markets in SF and Marin. In New York, I have been buying meat from an Amish farmer who sells at the Thursday Greenmarket in Morningside Heights (115th and Broadway) and from Fresh Direct. I would welcome other suggestions.

Also worth noting that even if the burgers from One Great Burger were fresh, I would not want to eat them. These quarter-pound patties have 27% fat. Although some of the flavor of a burger comes from the fat, ground meat with 15% fat or less tastes just fine - and is considerably healthier.

News Releases
New Jersey Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products Due to Possible Adulteration
Recall Release CLASS II RECALL

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Adrian Gianforti

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2011 - One Great Burger, an Elizabeth, N.J., establishment, is recalling approximately 226,400 pounds of ground beef products that may have become spoiled, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. 

The problem was discovered by FSIS during an investigation into customer complaints of discoloration and off-odors in the products. The review uncovered evidence to show that the establishment repackaged and recoded returned products and sent them out for further distribution to institutional customers. Therefore, FSIS must consider the products to be adulterated and has acted to remove the products from commerce. FSIS is continuing to investigate the product subject to recall in commerce. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician. 

The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels(PDF Only)] 

  • 20 lbs. boxes of "ONEGREAT HAMBURGERS" with "ITEM #02044" labeled on the front as well as "KEEP FROZEN."

Each box bears establishment number "EST. 34575" within the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced between Jan. 2010 and May 2010 and contain "PACKED ON" dates ranging from July 2010 to Nov. 2010. The products were distributed to institutions in California and Oregon. 

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. 

Media with questions about the recall should contact the company's public relations representative, Frank Tobin, at (323) 661-3720. Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company's Director of Technical Services, John Haug, at (973) 477-9039. 

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day atAskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

Ask Karen
Food Safety Questions? Ask Karen! 
FSIS' automated response system can provide food safety information 24/7

Follow FSIS on Twitter attwitter.com/usdafoodsafety

Posted via email from Doug's posterous

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