At the end of January 2020, Chicago-based Amity Packing Company recalled nearly 2,020 pounds of raw ground beef products due to possible contamination with clear, thin, pliable plastic, according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
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The recall occurred after Amity received two complaints of customers finding plastic in the beef. The FSIS classified the recall as Class II with a relatively low health risk. There have been no confirmed cases of people who had an adverse reaction after eating one of the recalled products.
“In this example, the plastic could have been in the meat before it was ground or perhaps it happened during the packaging stage. Sometimes, it’s hard to know exactly where the problem was,” says Janilyn Hutchings, CP-FS, food scientist for StateFoodSafety, a web-based food safety training and certification organization. “Machines or other methods of quality assurance should be checked to make sure they are functioning properly. In addition, if equipment seems to be breaking down or needs maintenance, it’s crucial to fix these before they create problems. It’s also important that employees are properly trained so they know exactly what to do in their jobs and report a problem if one arises.”
The recall affected raw ground beef products produced on January 6, 2020 and shipped to retail locations in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
According to Amity, one-pound vacuum-packed packages containing “Pre 95% Lean/5% Fat Ground Beef” with lot code 0060, case code 11402 and a use/freeze by date of 01/31/2020 on the product label are subject to the recall. Affected products also bear establishment number “EST. 6916” on the front right side of the package, according to USDA.