Topps Meat Company LLC, of Elizabeth, NJ, has voluntarily expanded its recall announced on September 25 to include 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This represents all products produced by Topps with a "sell by date" or "best if used by date" that falls between September 25, 2007 and September 25, 2008.
This information may be found on the back panel of the package. All recalled products will have a USDA establishment number of EST 9748, which is located on the back panel of the package and/or in the USDA legend. So far nearly 30 people had been confirmed ill in at least 8 states.
This recall tops the Con Agra recall of 19,000,000 pounds in 2002 that sickened over forty and killed one and is just under the 25,000,000 pounds recalled by now-bankrupt Hudson Foods in 1997. Here are a few examples of E. coli illnesses and outbreaks occurring in 2007:
- At least thirteen people were confirmed ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating ground beef produced by United Food Group sold in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Montana. Over 5,700,000 pound of meat were recalled.
- Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. recalled 40,440 pounds of ground beef products due to possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7. No illnesses yet reported.
- Seven Minnesotans were confirmed as part of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that prompted PM Beef Holdings to recall 117,500 pounds of beef trim products that was ground and sold at Lunds and Byerly’s stores.
- Twenty-seven people were confirmed ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Fresno County. The Fresno County Department of Community Health inspected the “Meat Market” in Northwest Fresno, the source of the outbreak.
- At least two people were confirmed ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Michigan after eating ground beef produced by Davis Creek Meats and Seafood of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The E. coli outbreak prompted Davis Creek Meats and Seafood to recall approximately 129,000 pounds of beef products that were distributed in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
- Following reports of three Napa Valley children who became sick from hamburger patties sold at a St. Helena Little League snack shack, 100,000 pounds of hamburger (that was a year old) was recalled.
- Several people were confirmed ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections in Pennsylvania after eating E. coli-contaminated meat products at Hoss’s Family Steak and Sea Restaurants, a Pennsylvania-based restaurant chain that purchased its meat from HFX, Inc., of South Claysburg, Pennsylvania. As a result of the outbreak, HFX recalled approximately 4,900 pounds of meat products.