When I heard the recall news about Topps Burger Patties I knew I had a problem. I have been a big fan of the beef you can find at any Walmart. I went down stairs and checked my refrigerator and there they were. Here’s the latest information on the recall. Make sure you check your freezer as well:
Last week’s recall of 21.7 million pounds of frozen hamburger because of potential E. coli contamination is bound to fuel concern that E. coli outbreaks may be on the rise in the nation’s meat industry for the first time this decade.
The ground beef recall by Topps Meat is second in size only to Hudson Foods’ 1997 recall of 25 million pounds of ground beef. And it comes just three months after a recall of 5.7 million pounds of ground beef tied to E. coli. The Topps recall has been linked to 27 reported illnesses, three confirmed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says. The beef industry suffered its E. coli crisis in the early 1990s. But it tightened food-safety standards and reduced outbreaks so successfully that even critics held it up as a model of what industry could do. But the American Meat Institute (AMI) says it noticed a slight rise in positive E. coli tests by the government this summer and so met with industry leaders. “It’s caused us to pause,” says Randy Huffman, vice president of the AMI Foundation. “We’ve redoubled our efforts and focused on the things that work.” The USDA sample-tests about 8,000 products a year for the deadly E. coli O157:H7 strain identified in the Topps‘ recall. The rate of positive tests has shrunk about 73 percent since 2000 but trended up in 2007 compared with the past three years.