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Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dying for Beef: USDA Recalls More Bad Meat - One Consumer Dies

Dying for your supper II: USDA recalls 546,000 pounds of ground beef
November 2, 6:15 PM Philadelphia Progressive Examiner Tim McCown

A New York company, Fairbanks Farms, was voluntarily recalling 546,000 pounds of ground beef. Some of this companies products may be linked to two deaths and 26 people who reported E.coli like symptoms.

The USDA said the meat was processed and sold by Fairbanks Farms in Asheville, North Carolina. It was distributed in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and Pennyslvania.

Each package contains the number # EST 492. It was packaged between September 15 and 16. They may possibly have been labeled with a date of September 19 through the 28th in which the product was to be sold. This means that the products are no longer being sold as a fresh.

Lola Scott, a spokesperson for the USDA said that there is now a death in New York associated with E-coli tainted beef. Earlier someone in New Hampshire was reported dead as well. All of the people reported as ill from this beef were from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The USDA recall list noted that the meat was sold in several ways including ground beef, meat loaf mix and hamburger patties. The products were sold in the following stores; Trader Joe's, Price Chopper, Lancaster, BJ's, Ford Bros., and Giant Food Stores. Anyone with any concerns is advised to call the food store they bought the meat at.

Fairbanks Farms have had 2 previous voluntary recalls in the last two years. In September 2007, 887 pounds of ground beef may have been contaminated by E-coli. In May 2008, 22,481 pounds of meat were recalled because the meat may have been contaminated with pieces of plastic.

Symptoms of E-coli infections include stomach cramps and severe diarrhea. E-coli infections can lead to complications including kidney problems. Symptoms mainly show up three to five days after a person eats contaminated food though it can take up to eight days for symptoms to appear. If you believe you have symptoms see your doctor immediately.

There had been a decrease in cases of E-coli until this year when for unknown reasons, there has been a marked increase in recalls including this one. This prompts recognition that we need more over sight because deregulation is seen as not working.

We are only capable of inspecting about 1% of all meat. That is also the amount of imported foods that USDA is capable of inspecting as well.What might be slipping through in the other 99% of products we don't have the USDA manpower to inspect. It at least poses the question of whether our food is safe or not and have we just been very lucky so far?

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