Topps calls it quits;
Cargill recalls patties
Oct 8, 2007 10:58 AM
The threat of E coli has had a major impact on beef patty producers recently. One meat company has been forced to shut down its operations, and another has announced a voluntary recall of the patties.
Because of the economic impact of the second-largest beef recall in United States history involving more than 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products, Topps Meat Co said it is forced to close its Elizabeth NJ plant and go out of business effective October 5.
"This is tragic for all concerned," said Anthony DíUrso, chief operating officer. "In one week, we have gone from the largest US manufacturer of frozen hamburgers to a company that cannot overcome the economic reality of a recall this large. We hope and pray for the full recovery of those individuals."
A small number of the 87 employees will remain at the Elizabeth plant for an indefinite time to assist the US Department of Agriculture in its ongoing investigation and to handle administrative matters.
Topps was founded in 1940.
Cargill Meat Solutions said it is voluntarily recalling approximately 844,812 pounds of frozen ground beef patties because they may be contaminated with E coli O157:H7.
The recall is based on an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Agriculture, as well as Cargillís investigation and findings from a food safety assessment conducted by the USDA at the Cargill ground beef plant in Butler WI. Minnesota officials had investigated four cases of E coli O157:H7 infection involving individuals who had consumed American Chefís Selection Angus Beef Patties purchased at Samís Club stores in the state. While the investigation is ongoing, Cargill is voluntarily recalling the products, which were produced August 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17, 2007, and distributed nationwide.
Consumers with questions about the recall should phone the companyís food safety line at 866-567-7899.
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