February 4, 2014

Fort Worth company recalling beef over E. coli concerns

The recall affects 15,900 pounds of beef products, including fajita or skirt steak, produced by PFP Enterprises on Dec. 5, according to the Department of Agriculture.

A Fort Worth meat company called PFP Enterprises is recalling about 15,900 pounds of beef products because they may be contaminated with six strains of E. coli, the Department of Agriculture’s food safety service announced Tuesday.

No reports of illnesses have been received, it said.

The cuts, mainly fajita or skirt steak, were produced on Dec. 5 and shipped to stores and restaurants in Arizona, Puerto Rico, Oklahoma and Texas, it said. One item was identified as 20-pound boxes of Movie Grill Sliced Tenderloin.

PFP’s own testing showed that beef trim had tested “presumptive positive” for toxin-producing E. coli strains, but the company “inadvertently did not carry the test out to confirmation, and not all affected product was held,” it said

Consumers with questions are advised to contact PFP at 817-546-3561.

The Food Safety Inspection Service referred queries to Jim Pieper of PFP. Although authorities classified it as a “high health risk,” the company declined to provide the names of restaurants and stores in Texas where it sold possibly tainted meat. Pieper did not respond to four calls to the plant, located at 8905 Forum off Everman Parkway in far south Fort Worth, other than to say, “No comment” through an employee who answered the phone.

The employee did say that none of the meat was sold through its retail website, TexasMeatPackers.com, explaining the e-commerce site hadn’t had orders in a while.

According to filings with the state, PFP’s registered agent is Lucas Melott, chief financial officer of Patterson Food Processors of Dallas.

Asked where the meat was sold in Texas, Melott declined to respond and referred queries back to the USDA. Neither PFP nor Patterson has put recall information on their respective websites. According to Patterson’s site, the company is owned by Michael and Matt Schirato, grandsons of Charlie and Huby Patterson who started the company 1946.

The Food Safety Inspection Service advises consumers to cook beef at a temperature of 145 degrees with a three-minute rest time. The only way to confirm that beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature, it adds.

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