A PA meat establishment is recalling pork products after inspectors found the facility's water test results had been positive for coliform bacteria. These test results would classify the water as non-potable.
While the risk is probably low to non-existent (the fresh pork itself would have coliforms), the water used to make that product is deemed as non-potable. While the presence of coliforms in themselves are not a hazard, their presence could indicate that other pathogenic bacteria could be present. More importantly, their presence could indicate that a contamination pathway could exist linking the water supply to a contamination source - surface water, septic system, animal waste, etc.
Corrective action needs to be taken immediately upon these types of results. This is normally done by dosing or shocking the well with chlorine. or even better for protecting a business is continuous disinfection.
FSIS News Release
Bunge's Meats Recalls Pork Products Formulated With Water That Did Not EPA Meet Drinking Water Standards
Class I Recall 082-2016
Health Risk: High Sep 16, 2016
Congressional and Public Affairs Gabrielle N. Johnston (202) 720-9113 Press@fsis.usda.gov
WASHINGTON, Sept.16, 2016 – Bunge’s Meats, a Catawissa, Penn. establishment, is recalling an undetermined amount of pork sausage products that were produced with water that did not meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) drinking water standards, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The various pork sausage items were produced between Feb. 24, 2016 and Sept. 15, 2016.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 21603” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to restaurants in Pennsylvania.
The problem was discovered on September 15, 2016, while an Enforcement, Investigations, and Analysis Officer (EIAO) was reviewing records during a Food Safety Assessment (FSA). The EIAO observed that results from the establishment’s third party testing laboratory indicated that water samples collected at the establishment on Feb. 24 and Sept. 9, 2016 were positive for Coliform bacteria. The water is used in the formulation of the pork sausage products.
There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
Consumers and media with questions about the recall can contact Robert Bunge, Owner, at (570) 317-6702.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.