Roughly 1,200 pounds of ground beef was recalled from the Vadnais Heights, Minnesota-based food processing company Ranchers Legacy Meat Co., NBC affiliate KARE reported. The U.S. Department of Agriculture explained the company had to recall the meat products because there was concern over E. coli contamination in the beef patties.
During a typical inspection of the food processing company by the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service, the agency discovered possible contaminates at the Minnesota facility, the source reported. According to Food Safety News, the announcement was made on Nov. 19, which recalled numerous products in fear of E. coli O157:H7.
All of the meat products were sealed in plastic cryovac packets and the items had different amounts of beef that were possibly infected. Some of the ground beef items that were recalled included: Ranchers Legacy Ground Beef Patties, Ground Chuck Patties, USDA Choice Ground Beef, Chuck Blend Oval Beef Patties, Chuck Blend Bulk Pack NAT Patties and NAT Beef Patties.
Approximately 14 products recalled
Overall, there were at least 14 products from the food processing company that were recalled because of E. coli contamination, Food Safety News reported. The severely harmful bacterium can cause dehydration, abdominal cramps and other gastrointestinal issues for up to eight days after exposure. Most are able to recover within a week, but sometimes consumption of the deadly organism can lead to kidney failure.
FSIS has yet to report any sicknesses from customers buying the frozen patties, but there's no way to tell how many people could be affected by the organism or the defective meat products.
Since the majority of the products are frozen, FSIS is warning customers who might have previously purchased the patties from the company earlier in the month and still have them in their freezer. According to the source, the FSIS inspection found the possible contaminates in the beef products and the equipment and recalled the items that were made and shipped that day.
To help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in processed products, the correct sanitary shell and tube heat exchangers are needed. Many companies have one heat exchanger for multiple products that require different heating temperatures. This can lead to a higher chance of bacteria in the product, from cross-contamination between batches.
However, installing appropriately sized sanitary stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers with adequate cleaning protocols could help prevent massive food recalls and save companies money.