The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning consumers to carefully check where their ground beef has come from – the agency has updated its recall list to include over 135 frozen ground beef varieties being sold across a variety of brands. All of the listed products have potentially been exposed to and may be contaminated with the deadly E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.
On March 17, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a consumer and retailer warning regarding the contamination of ground beef products produced at a facility described as “Establishment number (EST) 761.” Canadian news outlet CTV later identified Establishment 761 as the call number for New Food Classics, an Ontario-based food production company specializing in the manufacturing of burgers and other processed meat products.
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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency offers a list of affected ground beef products from Establishment 761, including retail frozen burger patties from brands like Best Value, Country Morning Gold, and Western Family, plus burger patties sold to restaurants under labels such as Grillhouse and Hero Certified. In total, 135 products are listed as having been affected. The CFIA notes that batches of ground beef potentially contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 can be identified by the following markers:
- bearing a Best Before date from BB 2012 JA 01 up to and including to BB 2013 FE15;
- bearing a production code with a format of 11 JL 01 up to and including 12 FE 15;
- bearing a 5 digit lot code where the last four digits are 1831 or greater.
According to the CFIA, one illness has already been reported in conjunction with the contaminated meat. In attempt to avoid further illnesses, consumers and restaurants are encouraged to not eat, use, sell, or otherwise unsafely handle any contaminated meat in their possession. Meanwhile, CTV reports that New Food Classics will not make the same mistake again – the company purportedly went into receivership earlier this year, and the plant from whence the contaminated meat came is no longer in operation.