Kent food distributor Sysco recalls beef patties sent to restaurants

Sysco Seattle Inc., a Kent food distribution company, is recalling nearly 16,800 pounds of ground beef patties imported from Canada because of possible E. coli contamination.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall and public health alert on Saturday.

Sysco began notifying its customers March 20 after New Food Classics of Burlington, Ontario, contacted the company, according to a USDA media release.

The Kent firm distributed the beef patties to restaurants in Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. A Sysco spokesman has not yet returned a phone message from the Kent Reporter for comments about the recall. The names of the restaurants have not been released.

The Texas-based Sysco has more than 180 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Ireland and nearly 45,000 employees to help distribute food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to food-borne illness.

The USDA issued a Class I recall, which means a high health risk because there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

The following products are being recalled:

• 10 lb. boxes of PRIME RIB BEEF PATTIES 8 oz, with product code 55317, and production code 11 NO 22

• 10 lb boxes of PRIME RIB BEEF PATTIES 71g, with product code 55391 and bearing a production code of 11 SE 01 or 12 JA 04

Consumers with questions about the recall should call Susan Lynn of Sysco at 832-489-1799.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a list of more than 135 affected products throughout Canada under various brand names and codes that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The products have been distributed in Canada from New Food Classics to retail stores, restaurants, and institutional establishments, and were manufactured between July 1, 2011 and Feb. 15.

There has been one reported illness associated with the consumption of one of the affected products, according to the Canadian Food Inspection website.

The USDA advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature.


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