Federal government recalls meat distributed in Illinois

Robin Opsahl, Reporter

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a recall Friday on more than 300 pounds of meat sold in Illinois and Wisconsin, after the distributor called back uninspected food.

A Canadian meat producer recalled 332 pounds of beef, chicken and pork dumplings that were imported to the U.S. in early October. Pelmen Foods, a business located in Ontario, Canada, recalled the meat earlier this week for not being inspected at the U.S. border.

While the USDA hadn’t received any reports of food poisoning or problems caused by the food as of Saturday, Alexandra Tarrant, a spokeswoman for the USDA, said that without inspection, there’s still a chance of adverse health effects.

“No one has reported any problems yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume,” Tarrant told The Daily.

Because of the absence of any inspection, the recall was classified as Class I by the USDA — which means the department determined there was “reasonable probability that the consumption of the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

In addition to Pelmen Foods meat, All American Meats announced Sunday it is recalling about 167,500 pounds of ground beef after finding E. coli at its establishment.

David Abelman, an employee at Jewel Osco, 1128 Chicago Ave., said the store responds immediately to USDA recalls by disposing of products and encourages customers to listen to recall announcements.

“We do what we can on our end to make sure customers don’t get bad products,” Abelman said. “But in these cases, where the meat was sold long before the recall happened, we encourage customers to be cooking their food fully to kill harmful bacteria and throwing out food that’s been labeled as contaminated or risky.”

In both of the cases, the USDA urges buyers not to consume the products being recalled and to throw away or return meats to the place of purchase. The USDA has also instructed people on how to prepare meat for safe consumption when possibly contaminated with E. coli, including keeping cooking spaces clean, not allowing raw foods to come into contact with other foods and cooking meats at temperatures of 160 degrees or higher.

The USDA recommends consumers concerned about having eaten contaminated food or having health effects because of food being recalled contact a healthcare provider immediately.

Email: robinopsahl2018@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @robinlopsahl