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Beef recall affects Applebee's Restaurants

Illinois Firm Recalls Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7

Recall Release CLASS I RECALL
FSIS-RC-033-2004 HEALTH RISK: HIGH

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113; FAX: (202) 690-0460
Autumn Canaday

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2004 - Quantum Foods, a Bolingbrook, Ill., firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 406,000 pounds of frozen beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION
USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHotline or visit www.fsis.usda.gov

Although the product(s) being recalled should be returned to the point of purchase, consumers preparing other ground beef products should heed the following advice.

Consumers should only eat ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe temperature of 160 °F. When a ground beef patty is cooked to 160 °F throughout, it can be safe and juicy, regardless of color.

The only way to be sure a ground beef patty is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use an accurate food thermometer.

Color is not a reliable indicator that ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.

Eating a pink or red ground beef patty without first verifying that the safe temperature of 160 °F has been reached is a significant risk factor for foodborne illness.

Thermometer use to ensure proper cooking temperature is especially important for those who cook or serve ground beef patties to people most at risk for foodborne illness because E. coli O157:H7 can lead to serious illness or even death. Those most at risk include young children, seniors, and those with compromised immune systems.


The products subject to recall were produced on June 23 and 24 and were distributed nationwide to restaurants, military institutions and retail stores. Some products were also distributed through door-to-door sales. Each box bears the establishment code "EST. 213-D" inside the USDA seal of inspection.

The recall was initiated after epidemiological case studies conducted by public health officials concluded the recalled product may be linked to four E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Colorado.

The products subject to recall include:


Packages of "B BAR Brand, 12 Quarter Pound 100% PURE BEEF PATTIES" bearing the product code 3084.
8-pound packages of "Hamburger Patties, 100% Pure Beef," bearing the product code 3060.
10-pound boxes of "100% PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS," bearing the product code 3012.
25-pound boxes of "85% LEAN GROUND BEEF PATTIES NAMP#1136," bearing the product code 3014.
25.60-pound boxes of "85% LEAN GROUND BEEF PATTIES NAMP#1136," bearing the product code 3016.
4.5 pound boxes of "OUR HOMESTYLE PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS," bearing the product code 3021.
10-pound boxes of "90% LEAN GROUND BEEF PATTIES NAMP#1136," bearing the product code 3025.
40-pound boxes of "90% LEAN BULK PACK GROUND BEEF NAMP#136," bearing the product code 3035.
4.497-pound boxes of "PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS," bearing the product code 3036.
24-pound boxes of "CHOPPED BEEF PATTIES," bearing the product code 3042.
10-pound boxes of "CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS," bearing the product code 3062.
21-pound boxes of "CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS," bearing the product code 3068.
24-pound boxes of "PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS TENDERFORM," bearing the product code 3079.
10-pound boxes of "85% LEAN BULK PACK GROUND BEEF NAMP#136," bearing the product code 3094.
26.25-pound boxes of "PURE CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS TENDERFORM," bearing the product code 3107.
24-pound boxes of "SEASONED CHOPPED BEEF STEAKS CHOPPED AND FORMED," bearing the product code 3208.
10.125-pound boxes of "SALISBURY BEEF STEAKS," bearing the product code 3301.
10.13-pound boxes of "PLATTER BEEF PATTIES CHOPPED AND FORMED," bearing the product code 3416.
10-pound boxes of "PLATTER BEEF PATTIES CHOPPED AND FORMED," bearing the product code 3418.
10-pound boxes of "SALISBURY BEEF STEAKS," bearing the product code 3302.
24-pound boxes of "PLATTER BEEF PATTIES CHOPPED AND FORMED," bearing the product code 3318.
10-pound boxes of "PLATTER BEEF PATTIES," bearing the product code 3414.
17.1875-pound boxes of "USDA SELECT BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK," bearing the product code 5304.
20-pound boxes of "BEEF SIRLOIN BUTT STRIP STEAKS," bearing the product code 5338.
Boxes of "BEEF SIRLOIN BUTT STRIP STEAKS," bearing the product code 5342.
10-pound boxes of "BEEF SIRLOIN TRI TIP STEAKS," bearing the product code 6352.
Boxes of "BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK BOURBON BRAND," bearing the product code 9390.
Boxes of "APPLEBEE'S FAJITA BRAND BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK," bearing the product code 9394.
Boxes of "APPLEBEE'S HOUSE SIRLOIN BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK," bearing the product code 9399.
Boxes of "APPLEBEE'S SUPER HOUSE SIRLOIN BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK," bearing the product number 5392.
Boxes of 'BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK FOR STIR FRY," bearing the product code 5396.
Boxes of "APPLEBEE'S HOUSE SIRLOIN BEEF SIRLOIN STEAK," bearing the product code 5397.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

Generally, steaks are not considered a high-risk source of E. coli O157: H7. However, some of the products subject to recall were needle tenderized and that process may have transferred the bacteria from the surface to the inside of the product.

Media and consumers with questions about the recall may contact company Vice-President of Quality Assurance Craig O'Brien at (630) 679-2384.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). The hotline is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
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NOTE: Access news releases and other information at the FSIS Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov