Ground beef recall linked to cluster of E. coli O157 illnesses in New England

USDA FSIS has announced a recall of 545,699 pounds of fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and distributed in seven states. According to FSIS, the product has been linked to a cluster of illnesses in New England.

There are quite a few recalls going on most of the time; this one is notable because this product has been linked to an outbreak of illnesses at a camp in Massachusetts. It’s also notable because bulk amounts of the product were shipped down the East Coast for further processing. Retail outlets receiving some of this product include Shaw, Giant, Price Chopper,Trader Joe’s, BJs and others.

From the press release:
"Products for further processing:
     Each case bears the establishment number "EST. 492" inside the USDA mark of inspection; has package dates of "09.14.09," "09.15.09," or "09.16.09;" and sell-by dates of "10.3.09," "10.4.09," or "10.5.09. These products were distributed to retail establishments in Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia for further processing. However, these products at retail will likely not bear the package dates and sell-by dates listed above. Customers with concerns should contact their point of purchase."

It is unlikely that any of the product is still being sold fresh at retail stores (the best-if-sold-before dates range from mid-September to early October) but it’s likely that the affected beef is still around in freezers. The meat juices from thawing can provide a nice vehicle for pathogen transfer.

Stick it in with a tip-sensitive digital thermometer (in multiple spots) to ensure that ground beef has reached a safe temperature and be vigilant in containing meat juices when thawing frozen meats. Juicy is good, nasty meat juice spread around the kitchen isn’t.

Kate Gosselin: use a meat thermometer and maybe you won’t give your kids Salmonella poisoning

Earlier this week on Jon and Kate plus 8, or whatever it’s called, newly single Kate took to the grill for apparently the first time and was terrified of poisoning her brood.

“Dear chicken, please do not give us sammonella. Love Kate.” (Salmonella — dp)

Cara gets bloody chicken. Kate laughs this off and says “oops” in the interview chair. … Ashley confirms the raw chicken. ??????

Stick it in. And don’t poison your kids.

Woman’s Day: Top-10 foods on a stick

While ironic that a magazine called Woman’s Day would feature the top-10 surprising foods on a stick – there’s probably an app for that – here they are:

Deep-Fried Spam (right)

Deep-Fried Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Octopus Tempura

Deep-Fried Tootsie Roll

Deep-Fried Mac-n-Cheese


Deep-Fried Bacon and Fries

Deep-Fried Chocolate Cake (left)


Deep-Fried Cheese

Recycling used chopsticks

A Japanese man spent over 3 months gluing together used chopsticks to make a canoe.

Shuhei Ogawara collected the 7,382 chopsticks from the cafeteria at the city hall where he worked. The collection took two years.

Ogawara commented that simply disposing of the chopsticks were a waste of perfectly good wood.

A man in Beijing with the same thought was once caught packaging and selling used chopsticks without any form of disinfection.

I prefer the boat idea.

Play it again

The Beijing News reported Wednesday that a Beijing factory recycled used chopsticks and sold up to 100,000 pairs a day without any form of disinfection, adding that officials raided the factory and seized about half a million pairs of recycled disposable bamboo chopsticks and a packaging machine.

The owner, identified only by his surname Wu, was cited as saying he had sold the recycled chopsticks for 0.04 yuan a pair and made an average of about 1,000 yuan ($130) a day.

Wu, who had no license to sell the goods, said he had sold 100,000 pairs a day when business was good.