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Ground beef recalled over E. coli concerns

MONTEBELLO Calif. Huntington Meat Packing Inc. is recalling 432 tons of ground beef shipped to restaurants, hotels and distribution centers in California because of possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination, federal officials said Monday.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the problem was discovered during a food safety assessment by FSIS personnel.

FSIS said it has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of the recalled products.

Robert Glenn, owner of Montebello-based Huntington Meat Packing, said Tuesday that it was not yet clear what the FSIS contends had been done improperly at the company. He said he would comment about the matter further after he receives clarification.

Asked about the reasons for the recall, USDA and FSIS public affairs specialist Adrian C. Gianforti said, "This is an ongoing investigation, and we cannot comment on the testing or obtained records at this time."

She added that the government's position is that the information about Huntington Meat Packing collected by the FSIS assessment team "warranted a recall release on January 18th."

The recall involves ground beef produced from Jan. 5 to Jan. 15, 2010, and from Feb. 19 to May 15, 2008. Products included:

  • 40-pound boxes labeled “Huntington Meats Ground Beef”
  • 40-pound boxes labeled “Huntington Meat Pkg. Inc. Beef Ground for Further Processing”
  • 40-pound boxes labeled “Beef Burrito Filling Mix”
  • 20-pound boxes labeled “Imperial Meat Co. Ground Beef Patty”
  • 10-pound boxes labeled “Imperial Meat Co. Ground Beef Patty”
  • 10-pound boxes labeled “El Rancho Meat & Provision All Beef Patties”

Each box has the establishment mark “Est. 17967” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

While the products in question are normally sold and used for fresh applications, the recall involves items produced in 2008 because some of them may be frozen and still in commerce, FSIS officials said.

Questions about the recall can be directed to Huntington Meat Packing at (888) 894-8242.

E. coli O157:H7 is a dangerous pathogen that, in severe cases, can cause kidney failure and poses the greatest risk to the very young, seniors and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected].

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