CSPI Warns of More Recalls Linked to Beef, Lettuce

For Immediate Release

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Phone: 202-332-9110

CSPI Warns of More Recalls Linked to Beef, Lettuce

Statement of CSPI Staff Attorney Sarah A. Klein

WASHINGTON - As August grilling season marches on and consumers top their burgers
with lettuce, the unfortunate parade of outbreaks and recalls linked to
contaminated food continues. USDA and FDA have each recently announced significant recalls of ground beef contaminated with E. coli and bagged lettuce contaminated with Listeria.

Valley Meat Company is recalling approximately one million
pounds of frozen ground beef patties and bulk ground beef products that
may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. At least seven consumers have already been sickened. E.coli
0157:H7 can cause severe illness with lifelong medical repercussions,
or death. Consumers should check their freezers for meat labeled with
any of the product names or codes listed here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_048_2010_Release/index.asp.
In addition, consumers should always cook ground beef to at least 160
degrees, using a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the patty to
determine this. Consumers should also be careful when thawing and
handling ground beef to avoid cross-contamination on cutting boards,
utensils, and kitchen surfaces.

Fresh Express has recalled nearly 3,000 cases of Veggie Lovers salad because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria
is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, and can cause
miscarriage, still-birth, or severe birth defects. Consumers are
advised to check their refrigerators for this product, labeled with a
Product Code of I208 and Use-by Date of August 10, 2010. Unfortunately,
re-washing bagged lettuce does not remove pathogens and may spread
contamination around the kitchen.

Consumers who suspect they may have contracted a foodborne
illness should seek medical care and contact their local health
department.

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Since 1971, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has been a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science.

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