The Colorado firm, which last week issued a voluntary recall of 41,000 pounds of beef, said the extra 380,000 pounds of assorted beef products now included in the alert had been manufactured on April 21. The potentially tainted products have been distributed both nationally and internationally, the company confirmed.
A joint probe by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “prompted the company to re-examine the effectiveness of their food safety system for the April 21 production of beef primals, and they are conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution as the safety of the products produced on a portion of that day could not be assured”, said a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) statement.
JBS-Swift said the recalled products were sold as muscle cuts and not as ground beef, although it was likely that some of this product underwent further trimming and grinding. The USDA said some of this ground product may have been associated with the illnesses in multiple states.
“The ground beef that might have been associated with illness was produced by other companies who often do not use the antimicrobial intervention steps we employ in our facility to reduce the risk of the beef products,” said company spokesman Chandler Keys.
He added: “Nevertheless, we have agreed to expand our recall of whole muscle cuts out of an abundance of caution for consumers.”
The company thought a further expansion of the recall was unlikely.
The widespread recall on fears of E.coli contamination is the second one to hit the US in the past few weeks. On June 19, Nestle USA issued a voluntary recall of 300,000 cases of it Toll House refrigerated raw dough after reports that it had been linked to 69 illnesses across 29 states. However, no incidence of E.coli has, to date, been positively detected in Nestle’s products.