According to a USDA press release, Winn Meats Co., a Dallas, Texas, establishment, is recalling approximately 25,600 pounds of ground beef products that were improperly labeled and potentially adulterated.  Notably, the recalled products are being recalled from firms to which they were sent for "further processing."  Question: because they were designated for further processing, were these products sent to the companies that now have them, or had them, because they were contaminated by E. coli O157:H7 or some other pathogen?  The press release also says that, "Because the products were distributed to non-federally inspected establishments where it cannot be verified that sufficient further processing occurred to remove foodborne pathogens that could have been present, these products must be removed from commerce."  In other words, if the products had been sent for further processing because they were contaminated, they might still be . . . if they are still in commerce.

The following products are subject to recall:

  • 60-pound boxes of “Ground Beef for Cooking Only”

Each box bears the establishment number “EST. 2338” inside the USDA mark of inspection and can be identified by the case code “506093.” Boxes contain three 20-pound packages of ground beef. The ground beef products were produced between August 24, 2010 and November 30, 2010. They were sent to a distribution center in Albuquerque, N.M., who in turn sent the products to restaurants, central kitchens, and caterers throughout the state.

The problem was discovered as a result of an FSIS investigation and review of company records. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.