Michigan Beef Recall: What you need to know

Beef recall is good reminder about food safety

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1.8 million pounds of beef that was sent to restaurants is under recall because of E. coli contamination.

The new beef recall is serving as a good reminder that you should be using safer cooking practices at your Memorial Day Barbecue and whenever you're serving meat! The newest distribution list shows that beef possible tainted with E.coli was sent to GFS Marketplace stores around Michigan.

So far, that is the only retail outlet on the list with stores in Metro-Detroit. ClickOnDetroit and Local 4 will keep you posted about additions to that list, or you can check the links to federal agencies at the bottom of this story. We found one customer outside the GFS Marketplace in Southfield who was hoping to
learn more about the recall.

"I figured I needed to get more information before I bought my beef because I planned on buying ground beef for the holiday," said Judith Rogan of Detroit.

Here are some of the key points about the recall.

  • Wolverine Packing Company of Detroit launched the recall on May 19th over concerns about E.coli contamination. The company says its products have not tested positive for the bacteria, but working with federal agencies launched the voluntary recall. It also says its working with distributors to get any remaining beef returns to the company.
  • Eleven people have gotten sick in 4 states (Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Massachusetts) Five people got sick in Michigan, the last one on May 1st.
  • The beef was produced between March 31, 2014 and April 18, 2014. Most of it should already be out of circulation. It could be in freezers, so restaurants and shoppers who might be affected should check their freezer to be on the safe side.
  • At first, it was reported the ground beef was only sent to restaurants. The list of restaurants affected has not been released. A list of retailers affected was first released May 21st. Here is the response from Gordon Food Services.

GFS Marketplace stores stock one of the products that was included in the Wolverine Packaging Co. voluntary beef recall. That product is a Fresh Premium Angus Beef Steakburger Patty, 10 count, 4lb package. The recalled product was produced between March 31, 2014 and April 18, 2014. The GFS Marketplace store reorder number is 841757.

Upon learning of the recall, GFS Marketplace implemented standard recall procedures, which includes urgent notification to the stores with instructions to dispose of all recalled product and to display a recall notice. Gordon Food Service also posted the recall notice it received from Wolverine Packaging Co. on gfs.com.

GFS Marketplace offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on everything we sell. Any customer that purchased the Fresh Premium Angus Beef Steakburger affected by the Wolverine Packaging Co. voluntary recall should discard any remaining product immediately. Customers will be issued a full refund of their purchase by bringing either their sales receipt or the product packaging to their local GFS Marketplace store.

Food Safety Reminders

Whenever you cook meat, health experts urge you to follow common food safety practices. Proper cooking temperatures will kill any bacteria that might be present on any meat your bring into your home. At restaurants, ask for meat to be cooked well done to make sure it's as safe as possible.

The cooking temperatures suggested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are:

  • Fish 145 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Beef, pork, lamb, chops/steaks roasts-- 145 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Ground meat- 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Poultry 165 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Hot dogs 160 degrees Fahrenheit

Color is NOT reliable indicator that meat have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill bacteria.

Other safety steps:

  • Wash hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 second before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards or any other dishes that come in contact with meat immediately.
  • Keep raw meats away from other foods that will not be cooked.
  • Refrigerate raw meat within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

Latest Wolverine Statement: "At Wolverine Packing we continue to support the Food Safety Inspection service in its ongoing investigation into the voluntary recall of our product. As FSIS continues to diligently investigate this matter, we encourage anyone who has a concern to be sure to cook all ground beef to a minimum temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit and measure the temperature with a meat thermometer. Additionally, the recalled product is labeled with establishment number "EST. 2574B with a production date code in the format "Packing Nos: MM DD 14" between "03 31 14" and "04 18 14.". Any product labeled with this establishment number and production date code should return the ground beef to the place of purchase for a refund."

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