BEEF bits

Sep 30, 2011

Tyson recalls ground beef

Tyson Fresh Meats is recalling approximately 131,300 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and related to an illness outbreak, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Tyson Foods announced. FSIS became aware of the problem on Sept. 26 when the agency was notified by the Ohio Department of Health of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses located in Butler County. Illness onset dates range from Sept. 8 through Sept. 11, 2011. The on-going investigation involved collecting leftover ground beef from the patients’ home on Sept. 19. It tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s laboratory on Sept. 27.

Palo Duro Meat ground beef recalled

Palo Duro Meat is recalling 40,000 pounds of frozen fine ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced. The products subject to recall include 40-pound boxes containing four 10-pound chubs of fine ground beef. Each case bears “Est. 7282” inside the USDA mark of inspection and a production code of 19110. The frozen product was produced on Sept. 9 and shipped to two warehouses in Georgia for further distribution to institutions, including six school districts in Georgia associated with the National School Lunch Program.

Metal fragments prompt pork recall

K. Heeps Inc. is recalling some 5,550 pounds of pureed pork products because they may contain foreign materials, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced last week. Subject to recall are 4.5-pound boxes of Imperial Sysco “Puree Shaped Meats Country Style Pork and Binder Product.” Each box bears “EST. 9379” inside the USDA mark of inspection and a production code of 06/16/11. The pureed pork products were produced on June 16 and shipped to California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia for institutional use. The problem was discovered when two consumers reported finding small metal fragments in the products. The metal pieces may have broken off of the blending equipment during clean up and reassembly at the plant and subsequently entered the product. FSIS and the company said they have received no reports of illnesses or injury associated with consumption of these products.

Japanese to resume U.S. beef sales

The Inageya grocery store chain will resume U.S. beef sales Oct. 10 on a trial basis. An as-yet-undetermined number of Inageya’s 127 outlets will sell chuck rib, chuck eye roll and strip loin for yakiniku (Koreanstyle barbecued beef), company meat department general manager Tokio Iso said. “We will see how well sales go so we can determine how we will proceed in handling U.S. beef in the future,” he said. Since a December 2003 ban on U.S. beef because of BSE, Inageya has not handled the meat despite its import resumption in August 2006.

USDA hikes forecast for beef price

USDA raised its forecast for beef prices in 2011, but left its outlook for overall food inflation unchanged. Beef prices are now projected to rise 8 percent to 9 percent this year, up from USDA’s previous forecast for a 7 percent to 8 percent increase. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) also boosted its overall meat price projection for the year by half a percentage point to a range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent. “Drought conditions in the South, along with rising feed prices and strong international demand, have led ERS to revise its 2011 forecast upward,” USDA said in the report. “While many inflationary pressures that drove prices up in 2011 are not expected to intensify and may even decrease in 2012, retailers have been slow to pass on cost increases to date. Price levels in 2012 will hinge significantly on several macroeconomic factors such as weather conditions, fuel prices and the value of the U.S. dollar (an indicator of global demand),” the report said.

Red meat in cold storage up

Total frozen poultry supplies on Aug. 31, 2011, were down 4 percent from the previous month but up 2 percent from a year ago, according to USDA’s monthly Cold Storage report. Total stocks of chicken were down 7 percent from the previous month and down slightly from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were down slightly from last month but up 4 percent from Aug. 31, 2010. Total red meat supplies in freezers were up slightly from the previous month and up 11 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were up 3 percent from the previous month and up 11 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were down 3 percent from the previous month but up 13 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were down 49 percent from last month but up 110 percent from last year. The results of the survey were generally supportive for meat prices going forward, particularly for pork and chicken, according to livestock analysts Steve Meyer and Len Steiner in the CME Group’s Daily Livestock Report. In particular, they pointed to a 7.2 percent drawdown in poultry stocks during August.