Morasch’s Raw Frozen Diced Beef Recalled Due to Potential E. coli O157:H7 Contamination
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently announced a recall of nearly 4,000 pounds of frozen diced beef products produced by Morasch Meats Inc., an establishment based in Portland, Oregon, due to a potential E. coli O157:H7 contamination.
You may wonder at the astonishing quantity of meat included in the recall. According to Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, American slaughterhouses can process between 300 and 400 cattle per hour. At this speed, workers are more likely to make mistakes which cause the cross-contamination of the cow’s fecal matter and the processed meat. By the time that the food safety testing reveals the presence of E. coli, the entire lot of meat has been processed under the same conditions and therefore, all of it must be recalled.
The contamination of Morasch’s frozen diced beef was discovered when FSIS examined the test results from a routine food safety sampling and found that they were positive for E. coli O157:H7. While a positive sample result does not necessarily mean that the entire lot is contaminated, it is a necessary precaution to recall the entire lot of meat, in order to protect any customers from consuming any contaminated meat. The concerned meat was processed on August 24, 2022. Each case was sold in 30 lb. box packages which were labeled “BEEF DICED 3/10# BAGS”, each containing three 10 lb. vacuum sealed, clear plastic bags of the concerned frozen diced beef. Any meat included in the recall bears the establishment number “EST. 4102” inside the USDA mark of inspection and the lot number “LOT#: 082422”. A picture of the label of the recalled meat can be viewed here.
To date, there have not been any cases of illness connected with Morasch’s recalled beef products. Furthermore, the recalled product is no longer available for purchase. However, health officials are concerned that some of the recalled products may still be stored in institutional or commercial refrigerators. Restaurants and institutions are asked to check their freezers to ensure that they are not storing any of the concerned products. In the case that someone discovers that they are, the meat should be thrown out or returned to its original place of purchase.
E. coli O157:H7 contamination is serious because it is a type of bacteria which can cause moderate to severe gastrointestinal infection, causing symptoms of dehydration, bloody stools, and abdominal cramping. In some cases, children under age 5 and elderly persons can develop a life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which can lead to kidney failure and death.