TOLEDO -- A recall of 21 million pounds of ground beef has caused more then a dozen people in eight states to become sick from the e-coli bacteria. Now the government is telling all consumers to check the meat in their freezers.
The Topps meat company has expanded its recall after investigators found problems with safety measures at the company's New Jersey plant. The USDA says not to worry. Richard Raymond, USDA undersecretary for food safety said, America's meat supply is the safest in the world. A recall like this shows we're on the job, we are doing our inspections, our investigations, and we respond to problems to make sure that supply is safe."
Topps says it has already improved its safety procedures and that it's cooperating with inspectors to find the source of the bacteria. Here is the beef that is being recalled: the recall covers all Topps products with "sell by" or "best used by" dates between sSptember 25, 2007 and September 25, 2008. Nat joyce.
Joyce Aldred shops at Sautters Food Center, but several recent major food recalls have made her a little on edge when grocery shopping. "I do tend to watch what I buy. I try to buy stuff that's made right here in the state instead of getting stuff from overseas."
"Immediately, we take anything recalled off the shelf... immediately, says Bob Sautter, co-owner of the Sautters grocery stores. He's been in the food business for decades and says recalls are up. "Many times, we will come in the morning and our fax machine will have a recall order on it." Suatter says getting recalled items off of shelves is a top priority, often before customers even know an item is tainted.
His stores were not affected by the recalled beef patties, but says he's still seeing slower sales in previously recalled items like Peter Pan peanut butter. "Even after you put them back on the shelf, people are a little leary, until they forget about it or they're reassured the product is fine." As grocers work to keep customers safe, so are lawmakers who are now calling for more government power to pull products from shelves.