New Jersey-based Topps Meat Company Recalls 21.7 Million Pounds of Tainted Ground Beef

If you are one of those industrious Dogsters who make your dog food, please be aware that some of this tainted beef could still be...



If you are one of those industrious Dogsters who make your dog food, please be aware that some of this tainted beef could still be around.

Thanks to for this article.

By Robert D. Mcfadden

NEW YORK A meat company issued on Saturday a nationwide recall for 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products after reports of as many as 25 cases of illness caused by suspected E. coli bacteria in eight states, federal officials reported.

The recall, by the Topps Meat Co. of Elizabeth, N.J., covers a wide range of frozen hamburger patties and other products manufactured over the last year and bearing a “sell by” date or “best used by” date between last Tuesday and Sept. 25, 2008, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture designation EST 9748.

The voluntary recall, an expanded version of one issued Tuesday for almost 332,000 pounds of Topps beef, was the first in the 67-year history of Topps, one of the nation’s largest meat processing concerns. It was also one of the larger meat recalls of recent years, the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety Inspection Service said.

Amanda Eamich, a spokeswoman for the service, said the expanded recall was based on an additional sample of meat contaminated with the E. coli O157:H7 strain, as reported by the New York State Department of Health; by findings of an inspection service safety assessment; and by new reports of illnesses under inquiry in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Advertisement

Claudia S. Hutton, a New York State Department of Health spokeswoman, said that suspected cases of E. coli linked to Topps dated to July, but that none were confirmed until an Albany resident became ill this month and a Topps patty found in his refrigerator was found by the Health Department to contain the E. coli strain.

E. coli O157:H7 is a food-borne bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. It usually clears up within a week in adults but can be deadly in infants, older people and those with compromised immune systems.

Geoffrey Livermore, Topps’ vice president of operations, said the recalled products were distributed to retail grocers and food service institutions throughout the United States over the past year.

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