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Ground Beef Recalled in Oregon

Posted on July 12, 2009

The United States Department of Agriculture issued a June 2 statement regarding S.P. Provisions, a Portland, OR company and their product recall of nearly 40,000 pounds of ground beef products. The products were recalled due to concerns of potential E. coli contamination.

The recall includes five- and ten-pound bags of ground beef as well as “chili grind” products. The USDA says the recall was prompted by microbiological sampling by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, and not by reports from consumers which, according to the article, were not received by the USDA.

The current recall is not the largest in recent history: a New York Times archive search shows that one California meat company issued a ground beef recall totaling roughly 143 million pounds just last year. However, the recent recall is part of a chain of growing concerns over E. coli and other harmful bacteria in beef products, as the New York Times article indicates. Food safety inspectors continue to monitor butchering and processing facilities for signs of improper slaughtering. To curb potential health hazards on the consumer side, the USDA includes “safe tips” for ground beef on their web site, including hand washing and cooking ground beef products at sufficiently high heat to kill E. coli and other bacteria.

These types of food recalls often contribute to specific food safety litigation, and food safety advocates will be following this and similar cases of E. coli-based recalls to look at the liability of America’s food producers as ground beef recalls become more frequent and reports surface of sub-par processing conditions or procedures.