ST. GEORGE – Steak and ground beef products that may have been distributed for commercial and institutional use are being recalled across four states, including Utah, because of possible contamination with E. coli bacteria.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall Friday, stating Lombardi Brothers Meats is recalling approximately 26,975 pounds of tenderized steak and ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.
Lombardi Brothers General Manager Jeff Harvey said that of the 30,000 pounds involved in the recall, 27,000 pounds never left his plant.
The problem was discovered June 30 when the firm received a positive result for E. coli as part of its in-house sampling program, the USDA’s notice said.
The USDA announcement said some products made from the same source material as the positive sample were shipped into commerce for hotel, restaurant and institutional use in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Harvey said Lombardi Brothers does not distribute to any retail outlets, and that he is 99.9 percent sure none of the affected products made it into Utah.
The vast majority of meat affected by the recall never left the plant, he said.
“We have a system in place,” Harvey said, “and it works.”
The company distributes through “U.S. Foodservice,” in Denver, Colorado, (see ed. note), and Dee’s FoodService in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Harvey said, neither of which distributes to any establishments in Utah. However, he said, the USDA included neighboring states in the recall notice in order to be cautious.
“We only ship to one customer in Utah,” Harvey said, “and that’s in Park City.”
Beef patties, ball tip steak, sirloin and other types of beef products are among the beef products being recalled.
The tenderized steak and ground beef products with generic labeling were produced between June 12 and June 30.
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 772” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
There have been no reports of illnesses; however, anyone with health concerns should contact a health care provider.
Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Harvey at 303-458-7441, ext. 232.
E. coli and preventative measures
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps two to eight days after exposure; on average, symptoms appear three to four days after exposure.
While most people recover from E. coli, some people can develop kidney failure. This is most common among children ages 5 and under, as well as the elderly.
The Food and Drug Administration advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume beef products that have been cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for steaks and roasts and 160 degrees Fahrenheit for ground beef.
The only way to confirm that beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature, according to a USDA press statement.
Ed. note: Harvey referred to U.S. Foodservice as Lombardi Brothers’ distributor out of Denver, Colorado; U.S. Foodservice is the former name of US Foods. Upon confirmation from the company, this report will be updated to indicate US Foods as that distributor.
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