Colorado Firm Recalls Bison Products Due to Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination
CLASS I RECALL
USDA Recall Classifications
Class I - This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
HEALTH RISK: HIGH
Congressional and Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2010 - Rocky Mountain Natural Meats, a Henderson, Colo. establishment, is recalling approximately 66,000 pounds of ground and tenderized steak bison products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
FSIS became aware of the problem during the course of an on-going investigation into a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Colorado with illness onset dates between June 4, 2010 and June 9, 2010. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the New York Department of Health, 5 case-patients have been identified in Colorado as well as 1 case-patient in New York with an indistinguishable PFGE pattern. FSIS determined that there is an association between the ground bison products and the cluster of illnesses in the state of Colorado. FSIS is continuing to work with the CDC, affected state public health partners, and the company on the investigation. Anyone with signs or symptoms of foodborne illness should contact a health care provider.
The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]
* 16-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL GROUND BISON.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 21, June 22 or June 24, 2010.
* 16-ounce packages of “NATURE’S RANCHER GROUND BUFFALO.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 22, 2010.
* 16-ounce packages of “THE BUFFALO GUYS ALL NATURAL GROUND BUFFALO 90% LEAN.” These products have a lot number of 0147.
* 12-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL BISON STEAK MEDALLIONS.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 23 and June 24, 2010
* 12-ounce packages of “GREAT RANGE BRAND ALL NATURAL BISON SIRLOIN STEAKS.” These products have a “sell or freeze by” date of June 20, June 23 and June 24, 2010
* 15-pound boxes of “ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATURAL MEATS, INC. BISON 10 OZ SIRLOIN STEAK.” These products went to restaurants and bear a Julian Code of 0141.
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 20247” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were produced between the dates of May 21, 2010 through May 27, 2010, and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide and food service distributors in Utah and Arizona. While the sell-by dates for these products have passed, FSIS and the establishment are aware that consumers may also freeze the product before use and there is concern that some product may still be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS' Website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.
E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a physician.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers (including restaurants) of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.
FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground bison that has been cooked to a temperature of 160° F. The only way to be sure ground bison is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
Media and consumer questions regarding the recall should be directed to the company’s spokesperson, Chuck Sanger at (800) 325-4164.
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at www.AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
Retail Distribution List (PDF Only)