American Food Service of Pico Rivera is recalling approximately 3,170 pounds of fresh ground beef patties and other bulk packages of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
FSIS inspection personnel were made aware of the problem when contacted by another federal regulated establishment who believed they had received suspect product.
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The following products, produced on Jan. 31, 2011, (with the corresponding case codes) are subject to recall:
(559002) American Companies 100% Pure Ground Beef 30-lb. case
(552102) American Companies 2/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case
(553102) American Companies 3/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case
(554102) American Companies 4/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case
(554106) American Companies 4/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case
(554302) American Companies 4/1 L Ground Beef Patties 80/20 20-lb. case
(555302) American Companies 5/1 L Ground Beef Patties 80/20 20-lb. case
(556102) American Companies 6/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case
(553302) American Companies 3/1 L Ground Beef Patties 80/20 20-lb. case
(554402) American Companies 4/1 J Ground Beef Patties 80/20 20-lb. case
(557102) American Companies 7/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case
(556106) American Companies 6/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case
(552106) American Companies 2/1 R Ground Beef Patties 80/20 10-lb. case
(559004) American Companies Ground Beef Bulk 80% Lean Taco Grind 60-lb. case
(559202) American Companies 100% Pure Ground Beef For Chili (Coarse Grind) 30-lb. case.
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number "EST. 1913" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were distributed to restaurants throughout southern California.
FSIS and the establishment are concerned that some product may be frozen and in restaurant freezers.
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 foodborne illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that firms notify their customers (including restaurants) of a recall and that steps are taken to make certain that a suspect product is no longer available to consumers.
FSIS 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� F. 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.
Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact the company's Customer Service Supervisor, Mario Hernandez, at (562) 801-4100 ext. 238.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov . The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.
The following guidelines are from the USDA Meat and Poulty Hotline, 1-888-MPHOTLINE or visit www.fsis.usda.gov 
PREPARING GROUND BEEF FOR SAFE CONSUMPTION
- Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water. Immediately clean spills.
- Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.
- Consumers should only eat ground beef or ground beef patties that have been cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160° F.
- Color is NOT a reliable indicator that ground beef or ground beef patties have been cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.
- The only way to be sure ground beef is cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
- Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase or one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F. Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.