Company recalls 15 tons of ground beef

Foreign matter, “hard metal and plastic” was found in product, the USDA said.

POULSBO – A Washington beef processing company issued a recall of over 15 tons of ground beef after “hard metal and plastic” was found in the product, according to the USDA.

More than 30,000 pounds of ground beef processed at the Toppenish grind facility of Washington Beef, LLC, on December 27, is subject to the recall. The product was sold to 27 customers in 13 states including Washington, the company said.

The recalled meat is sold under the brand names “Double R Ranch,” “St. Helens,” and “Snake River Farms,” and bears the establishment number “235.” It has a use or freeze by date of January 20, 2019. Images of the packaging can be found here.

“[The Food Safety and Inspection Service] is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers,” a March 2 press release from the USDA states. “Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.”

In a media statement the company said that customers should either dispose of the recalled product “or return it to the store where they purchased it for a full refund.”

Washington Beef, LLC – a subsidiary of the Idaho-based beef and pork giant Agri Beef – said in the statement that blue plastic was identified at the processing facility on December 27, and efforts to “eliminate the foreign material” were made that day. But approximately two months later, on February 28, the company received a complaint from a customer “that showed that part of the plastic material was found in one of the” products, the release said.

“Washington Beef notified USDA/FSIS immediately that other items produced on December 27 could also possibly contain foreign matter and initiatied a voluntary recall,” the company said.

In an email on Wednesday, USDA spokesperson Buck McKay said the foreign material consisted of “hard metal and plastic.”

No illnesses or adverse reactions have been confirmed as a result of the foreign material, the USDA said.

A list of retail stores that purchased the recalled beef was being compiled by the USDA on Wednesday. It will be found here.

Washington Beef said it is conducting “internal audits of all its processes and procedures” to prevent any future contamination.

Gabe Stutman is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. Follow him on Twitter @kitsapgabe.

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