Health SafetyThe Bahamas Agricultural Health and Food Safety Authority (BAHFSA), recently released the following statement, which included an Urgent Meat Recall, as well as recommended precautions to take when handling raw meat, especially as the summer season approaches:

Raw Beef Products

On May 22, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a recall for over 62 thousand lbs. of raw beef due to potential E. coli 0157-H7 contamination after random sampling.

The meat was packaged at the Aurora Packing Company, Inc. in North Aurora, Illinois and has the establishment number, “EST. 788”, inside the USDA mark of inspection.


The recall includes over 40 products, mostly steak (ribeyes, ribs and brisket cuts).

A product list can be found at:
https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/c639fdf0-d073-4822-8d70-d668cd548359/057-2019-List-of-Recall-Products.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

The recall labels can be found at:  https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/40e424cc-9732-490b-acae-c793d4eb1c7b/057-2019-Labels.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

The Ministry of Health Surveillance Unit have received no reports of illness associated with this recall and none have been confirmed by the USDA.

Local retailers and wholesalers are asked to discard this product from their freezers if found and consumers, likewise.

The Bahamas Agricultural Health and Food Safety Authority (BAHFSA) urges consumers to be vigilant when preparing and consuming foods such as meat products.  As summer fast approaches, extra precaution and attention should be given to:

1.    wearing the proper protective wear such as disposable gloves, aprons and hair nets where practical;
2.    utilizing running, potable water to thoroughly rinse fresh fruits and vegetables, including conch;
3.    using ice to keep selected items cold (40℉ or below);
4.    ensuring food is not kept out of the refrigerator for more than two hours after preparation;
5.    washing hands under warm running water for 20 seconds whenever exposed to possible contamination;
6.    using hand sanitizers, moist wipes or one-time use hand towels to keep hands clean, especially on picnics, regattas, cookouts, etc. where running water may not be available;
7.    keeping raw foods separate from fresh, ready to eat foods to avoid cross contamination;
8.    include a food thermometer to ensure meats are cooked to the correct internal temperature at home and at outdoor events;
a.    fish – 145℉
b.    beef, pork, lamb, veal (steaks, roasts and chops) – 145℉
c.    ground meats (beef, pork, lamb, veal) – 160℉
d.    whole, ground and poultry breast – 165℉
9.    ensuring sick, elderly or pregnant women, including children under 5yrs of age do not consume food that may be at risk;
10.    covering and storing foods at the right temperature; and
11.    contacting a health professional if they believe anyone may have consumed contaminated food and further, retain such food to be sampled by the health official.

Consumers who may have questions or concerns should contact BAHFSA at: bahfsa@bahamas.gov.bs.